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Certain American States
Certain American States: Stories | Catherine Lacey
4 posts | 5 read | 11 to read
One of Grantas Best Young American novelists, Catherine Lacey, the Whiting Award-winning author of The Answers, showcases her literary style in short fiction with Certain American States, a collection of stories about ordinary people seekingand failing to findthe extraordinary in their lives. 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 husbands clothing on the street, only for it to reappear on the body of a stranger; a man reads his ex-wifes 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. Laceys 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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review
mauveandrosysky
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Mehso-so

I‘m a huge fan of Catherine Lacey‘s novels, but this short story collection left something to be desired.

The characters and themes are indeed compelling—confronting the absurdity, loneliness and urgency of being a person in this world—and the writing is consistently solid. But one of the main things I hope for in a short story is that it feels complete and satisfying by the end, and most of these didn‘t.

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Flaneurette
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If I would just quit futzing with calibre and devices maybe I would finish the tagged book...

Lindy Good point. I‘m putting down my phone and going back to my book now. 😉 1y
50 likes1 comment
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Well-ReadNeck
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Mehso-so

I was so looking forward to this one after Lacy‘s The Answers. But, only a few stories hit for me. And, the order didn‘t really flow for reading more than one story at a time. I do have a hard time with short stories but had been on a roll lately. This one was more of my usual experience. #netgalley

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Liberty
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Chores are done - now it‘s time for breakfast! 🍝📚❤️

rmaclean4 Love the mug! 1y
ReadingisMyPassion I want that mug! 1y
144 likes4 stack adds2 comments