American Innovations: Stories - Rivka Galchen

American Innovations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24), Rivka Galchen’s astonishing debut short-story collection, is smart, slyly funny, and usually at least a bit off-kilter.  In the opening story, “The Lost Order,” a woman answers her phone and, rather than tell the caller that he’s dialed the wrong number, takes the man’s order for Chinese food delivery.  The title story is an homage to Gogol’s “The Nose”; in this version, a woman comes home from abroad to discover that she’s grown a breast on her back.  In “Wild Berry Blue,” a girl having breakfast with her dad at McDonald’s encounters her first love, a heavily tattooed, recovering drug addict working behind the counter.  Galchen’s stories can be strange and mysterious, but it’s difficult to read them without grinning and marveling at her charm, imagination, and command of language.

American Innovations: Stories By Rivka Galchen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280475
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 6th, 2014

American Innovations: Stories By Rivka Galchen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250069238
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Picador - May 5th, 2015

Can't and Won't: Stories - Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis’s stories are dreams. They’re also letters and lists, animal fables and obituaries; others recount episodes from Flaubert’s life. Her stories—but are they stories? Can’t and Won’t (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26), the cannily defiant eighth book of fiction by the noted translator freshens the world and teases the imagination, as stories do; though Davis is as apt to use crisp observations and tart comments as she is recognizable plots to achieve this end, she is also meticulous in recreating scenes of daily life. This very precision is marvelously suggestive; why exactly these details? Are any essential to shaping a life, or are they all more or less arbitrary? Change one—and new plots, new characters, new stories will emerge. Along with hints of such untold tales, Davis has a delightful and disarming brand of wordplay; a story about an odd crime—the disappearance of salamis—turns into a parable of identity theft when news reports call the salamis “sausages.” Then there’s the meticulous journal of how three cows in a neighboring field spend their days—a rumination on ruminants.

Can't and Won't: Stories By Lydia Davis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250062437
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - March 31st, 2015

The Other Language - Francesca Marciano

The nine stories of Francesca Marciano’s The Other Language (Pantheon, $24.95) feature characters in foreign lands during transitional times in their lives. In one, a middle-aged married couple on holiday in India makes spontaneous decisions that affect the rest of their lives. In another a recently divorced woman has just purchased a house in a small Italian village; hoping for serenity, she is instead confronted by her fractured familial relationships, an eccentric villager with a remarkable talent, and a movie star who just won’t go away. The collection perfectly encapsulates the bittersweet, lonely feeling of traveling or living abroad. Marciano is a natural storyteller, and reading her work is like listening to a friend talk about people she knows. As well as being conversational, Marciano’s language has an almost cinematic quality—I was utterly engrossed in each scene as it played out before me. Whether you’re going on vacation or just dreaming about one, I can’t imagine a more atmospheric book to accompany and inspire you. I simply love this book.

The Other Language (Vintage Contemporaries) By Francesca Marciano Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804488
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015