By: Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 4/24/18
My Rating: 4 Stars
A dazzling collection of short stories from the New York Times bestselling author of Prep, American Wife, and Eligible
Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before.
Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided. In “The World Has Many Butterflies,” married acquaintances play a strangely intimate game with devastating consequences. In “Vox Clamantis in Deserto,” a shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life. In “A Regular Couple,” a high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. And in “The Prairie Wife,” a suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie.
With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.
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Praise for Curtis Sittenfeld
“Masterfully plotted and often further gilded with mirthful twists, Sittenfeld’s short-form works (half of which are published here for the first time) are every bit as smart, sensitive, funny, and genuine as her phenomenally popular novels.”
“Curtis Sittenfeld proves once again why she’s one of the finest observers of human nature writing today with a collection of potent pieces as funny as they are literary.”
“Curtis Sittenfeld has wowed readers with her spectacular novels and now she’s back with some excellent short fiction….Each one of these pieces has Sittenfeld’s characteristic spark.”
Sittenfeld “brings her unflinching eye, piercing wit, and storytelling gifts to everything she does, making this collection a series of perfect gems, each one worth going over again and again.”
“Wise and warm. Exploring what it means to be human, these characters spring off the page.”
—Red Magazine (UK)
“A collection of sharply observed and unforgettably crafted stories about relationships, grudges, and gender roles in the lives of lawyers, couples, and mothers—the sheer power of Sittenfeld’s storytelling talents will leave you breathless.”
“Chronicling a rich array of life, love, and loneliness over the past two-and-a-half decades, Sittenfeld’s first story collection takes no prisoners, showing us human relationships in all their messy permutations….In crisp, surprising language, these ten stories…put couples’ foibles under the spotlight.”
About the Author
CURTIS SITTENFELD is the bestselling author of five novels: Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, will be published in 2018. Her books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into twenty-five languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate, and on “This American Life.” A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” CBS’s “Early Show,” and PBS’s Newshour; and twice been a strangely easy “Jeopardy!” answer (see below). Read More