Certain American States: Stories

By Catherine Lacey
Read by Lisa Flanagan , Thérèse Plummer , and Alex Karpovsky

5.65 Hours 08/07/2018 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781538491263

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From one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists comes Certain American States, whose insightful and lonely stories beg you to discover the emotional universes hiding at their cores. The winner of a Whiting Award, Catherine Lacey brings her narrative mastery to Certain American States, her first collection of short stories. As with her acclaimed novels Nobody Is Ever Missing and The Answers, she gives life to a group of subtly complex, instantly memorable characters whose searches for love, struggles with grief, and tentative journeys into the minutiae of the human condition are simultaneously gripping and devastating. The characters in Certain American States are continually coming to terms with their place in the world, and how to adapt to that place, before change inevitably returns. A woman leaves her dead husband’s clothing on the street, only for it to reappear on the body of a stranger; a man reads his ex-wife’s short story and neurotically contemplates whether it is about him; a young woman whose Texan mother insists on moving to New York City with her has her daily attempts to get over a family tragedy interrupted by a mute stranger showing her incoherent messages on his phone. These are stories of breakups, abandonment, and strained family ties; dead brothers and distant surrogate fathers; loneliness, happenstance, starting over, and learning to let go. Lacey’s elegiac and inspired prose is at its full power in this collection, further establishing her as one of the singular literary voices of her generation.

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Summary

Summary

From one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists comes Certain American States, whose insightful and lonely stories beg you to discover the emotional universes hiding at their cores.

The winner of a Whiting Award, Catherine Lacey brings her narrative mastery to Certain American States, her first collection of short stories. As with her acclaimed novels Nobody Is Ever Missing and The Answers, she gives life to a group of subtly complex, instantly memorable characters whose searches for love, struggles with grief, and tentative journeys into the minutiae of the human condition are simultaneously gripping and devastating.

The characters in Certain American States are continually coming to terms with their place in the world, and how to adapt to that place, before change inevitably returns. A woman leaves her dead husband’s clothing on the street, only for it to reappear on the body of a stranger; a man reads his ex-wife’s short story and neurotically contemplates whether it is about him; a young woman whose Texan mother insists on moving to New York City with her has her daily attempts to get over a family tragedy interrupted by a mute stranger showing her incoherent messages on his phone. These are stories of breakups, abandonment, and strained family ties; dead brothers and distant surrogate fathers; loneliness, happenstance, starting over, and learning to let go. Lacey’s elegiac and inspired prose is at its full power in this collection, further establishing her as one of the singular literary voices of her generation.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Lacey’s] work manages to be both conceptual and human, socially aware and mordant—think DeLillo for millennials—[and it] captures the absurdity of a culture that persists in thinking that enlightenment is a matter of the right purchase, hashtag, or Google search.” Vogue, praise for the author
“Stellar…On display is Lacey’s trademark handle on the plight of characters who feel lost in their own lives…making this collection a strong new showcase for her fiction.” Publishers Weekly
“Lacey here turns out a collection of short stories whose protagonists find their sense of finally having found their place in the world suddenly upended, as when a woman who’s left her dead husband’s clothes on the street sees another man wearing them.” Library Journal
“Exquisite: every line is dry and spare and bracing, without a single syllable out of place. A fully realized vision.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is a novelist and author whose work has appeared in Guernica, the Atlantic, the Believer, the New York Times, McSweeney’s Quarterly, the Paris Review online, Electric Literature, and many others. She was named among the “Faces to Watch“ by the Los Angeles Times in 2017 and a “New Voice” by Granta in 2014. She has earned fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Columbia University, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Short Stories
Runtime: 5.65
Audience: Adult
Language: English