Sympathetic People

Sympathetic People

Sympathetic People, by Donna Baier Stein, Serving House Books, 2013. $13.95, 148 pages.

“What would life be without hunger?” The narrator in Donna Baier Stein’s short story “Coming Clean” asks a man with whom she has had an affair. Though …

Bundle

Bundle

My mother removed my legs and wrapped them in cheesecloth—no lint—before putting them in the top drawer of the bureau beside my crib. “Tell me the story again,” I displayed on the message screen embedded in my chest.

“We had …

Battleborn

Battleborn

Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins. Riverhead Books, 2012. $16, 288 pages.

With the Mojave Desert as her set and vibrant characters as her stars, Watkins’s collection is an almost filmic bricolage of survival in an unforgiving landscape. Watkins’s stories …

Broken Heart

There was a man who had a broken heart. It was so broken that it had shattered into hundreds of small pieces. It was much like smashing a head of iceberg lettuce that had been dipped in liquid nitrogen. Except …

Dollbaby

Dollbaby

Dollbaby, by Laura Lane McNeal. Viking, 2014. $26.95, 337 pages.

In her debut novel, author Laura Lane McNeal maps out the city of New Orleans in order to imagine a gripping tale of family secrets, civil rights, and Southern …

The Kingdom of No

The Kingdom of No

Lamy, New Mexico, 1920

It was so early in the morning that the light could hardly be called light, and an unseasonable frost lay over the ground like a warning. Hector Olivares, esq, sat in his automobile, holding tightly to …