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Other People We Marriedby Emma Straub
Synopses & Reviews
In Other People We Married, Straub creates characters as recognizable as a best friend, and follows them through moments of triumph and transformation with wit, vulnerability, and dazzling insight. In “Some People Must Really Fall in Love,” an assistant professor takes halting steps into the awkward world of office politics while harboring feelings for a freshman student. Two sisters struggle with old assumptions about each other as they stumble to build a new relationship in "A Map of Modern Palm Springs." In "Puttanesca," two widows move tentatively forward, still surrounded by ghosts and disappointments from the past. These twelve stories, filled with sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language, announce the arrival of a major new talent.
"Though fresh and satisfying insights can surface in even the most common terrain, this debut story collection, from the daughter of horror heavyweight Peter Straub, offers little originality or wit. Despite the stories taking place in different locations, what the characters encounter along the way remains provincial, the circumstantial and geographic territory covered ringing all too familiar. Set in the Midwest, 'Some People Must Really Fall in Love,' presents a young female professor with a crush on one of her students. In 'Rosemary,' set in Brooklyn, a new mother's beloved cat flees after the baby is born. In the title story, Franny's best friend is a gay man who awkwardly accompanies her and her husband on a Martha's Vineyard vacation. 'Puttanesca,' by contrast, is a delight: Stephen and Laura met through their bereavement counselor, having each lost a significant other when young. Despite a trip to Italy, Laura in particular remains in the shadow of her dead husband, and in this there is tenderness and intrigue. 'Orient Point' follows an unlikely couple and their baby to Long Island. Though it's the shortest of the collection, it's also the strongest, nailing both a humor and an inevitable loss that is never quite realized in the other stories. Agent: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Brick House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Other People We Married is a revelation." Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America and A Gate at the Stairs
"Emma Straub is worthy of our adoration. These stories are wise, surprising, hilarious, and unforgettable." Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Swamplandia!
"Emma Straub is a wry, witty, incisively observant writer." Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
"Emma Straub's stories mean that there are fewer lonely people in the world; they are the best kind of company. I’m giddy about their very existence, the way you get giddy when you meet someone you'd like to know for a long, long time. I look forward to knowing Emma Straub's fiction for a long, long time." Thisbe Nissen, author of The Good People of New York and Osprey Island
"Razor sharp and tenderhearted, funny and wrenching. Emma Straub's stories take place in all the messy, fascinating, uncanny corners of contemporary relationships." Kelly Link, author of Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners
"Emma Straub has such a graceful, brittle, subversive voice that it takes a moment after you surface from her stories, drugged with pleasure and ringing with sharp insight, to realize how deeply she loves and understands humanity. Other People We Married is a terrific collection of stories, and Emma Straub is a joyous marvel of a writer." Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton and Delicate Edible Birds
"The smarts and humor of a Lorrie Moore or a Laurie Colwin or a Laurie Anderson — any number of Lauries." Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead, for the Oxford American
"Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”—People (four stars)
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American familys two-week stay in Mallorca.
For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.
This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.
An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction
Marine Park—in the far reaches of Brooklyn, train-less and tourist-free—finds its literary chronicler in Mark Chiusano. Chiusanos dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, sports, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. In the tradition of Junot Díazs Drown, Stuart Dybeks The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Bankss Trailerpark, this is a poignant and piercing collection—announcing the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction.
About the Author
Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Time, Slate, and The New York Times, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Emma lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.
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