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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Kalotay's debut story collection centers on contemporary characters, recognizable individuals whose chance encounters with new people or unfamiliar situations provide revealing insights. Many of the stories focus on the young -- adults in their early 20s, teenagers and children -- who are struggling to make connections with others, to come to terms with difficult relationships, or to find a comfortable place in the world.
Several stories in Calamity follow the same character, at different points in his or her life. For example, we read about Rhea as a 10-year-old who unexpectedly witnesses her mother enjoying a surprising moment of sexual pleasure. Later, Rhea reappears as a lonely, single 28-year-old craving a deeper involvement with the electrician who fixes the wiring in her apartment. Later still, we meet Rhea when she is working as a college professor and suffering through a terrifying plane ride with a stranger.
Kalotay's writing is restrained yet nimble, pulling readers into each story without drawing attention to the prose. As a result, her characters are real, sympathetic, and memorable -- the kind of people you'd be delighted to meet. (Spring 2005 Selection)