One of The New Yorker's Best Books of 2023 o One of LitHub's 38 Best Books We read in 2023
"Best short stories for an instant escape."--Oprah Daily
From an "exquisite" (The New Yorker) writer, a searing volume of prizewinning stories starring women facing points of no return.
A professor finds a photograph of her deceased mother in a compromising position on the wall of a museum. A twenty-something's lucrative remote work sparks paranoia and bigotry. A transplant to a new city must make a choice about who she trusts when her partner reveals a violent history. The summer after her divorce from an older man, an exiled painter's former friends grapple with rumors that she attempted to pass as a teenager.
In this long-awaited debut collection, Kathleen Alcott turns her skills as a stylist on the unfreedoms of American life--as well as the guilt that stalks those who survive them. Emergency roams from European cities to scorched California towns, drug-smeared motel rooms to polished dinner parties, taking taut, surprising portraits of addiction, love, misogyny, and sexual power. Confronting the hidden perils of class ascension, the women in these stories try to pay down the psychic debts of their old lives as they search for a new happiness they can afford.
About this Author
Kathleen Alcott is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, including Infinite Home. Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, her short fiction has also been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories of 2019 and the Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories of 2023. She has taught at Columbia University and Bennington College, and her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, Harper's Magazine, and elsewhere.
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