Chelsea Bieker’s debut novel, out today, feels familiar, devastating, like it has already happened, could, or might again. It’s the story, too, of motherhood in all its iterations, from abandonment to adoption, at the best of times and worst, and the moments, no matter how small, of love.
Leaving the boarding school world was terrifying and painful, but also felt like an act of daring—and it called to the fore other qualities of myself that felt hard to set down, even when I chafed under their burden.
Patricia Lockwood’s first novel, out today, is unnervingly not hyperbolic in its lyric, humorous rendering of our social media obsessed world.
The narrator of Emily Temple’s debut novel, Olivia, holds a deep desire to belong, to be loved, and to be touched—a desire that trumps her regard for safety, leading her to even give up her will to find her missing father.
Kevin Wilson’s latest novel revolves around a phrase that the protagonist conjures the summer of 1996, when she is sixteen. “It meant nothing,” Frankie thinks. Yet it is a code that bonds her with her friend, two loners finding shared understanding in the meaningless words.
Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Lorrie Moore portray mothers transformed by grief, their ideas of motherhood complicated by the crises that befall them.
Moving exposes the true quantity of our stuff: there’s too much. And what story do these objects, and the way in which they inhabit space, tell? Our possessions tell the stories of our changing bodies, our relationships, our jobs, the pandemic, the hobbies we’ve given up on, our privilege.
“When I was a teacher, death always lingered in the back of my mind.”
Sarah Manguso, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Heather Christle show that what may at first look like fragments are instead distillations of memories, emotions, and experience—made stronger by their brevity and turned into something whole through their painstaking arrangement.
Summer, Helena, and Hermia hold fast to their own definitions of love, even in the face of men who refuse and ignore them.