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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
A talented, emerging writer familiar to readers of literary magazines, Black is now poised to break through as a major writer with this winning collection of short stories. Drawing on a variety of plotlines and settings, the stories feature likable, ordinary people whose lives appear to hover on the verge of changing in unexpected ways.
A sweet vulnerability and humanity shines through these intelligently wrought narratives. In "The Thing Itself," a middle-aged lawyer, who experiences a premonition that something big is about to happen, nervously reviews his life and makes a critical decision. A newly divorced man, who has trouble expressing his feelings, meets a woman with laryngitis at a party, and manages to find a way to communicate and connect with her in "That Which We Cannot Speak." "The Only Way Out Is Through" finds a father desperately attempting to bond with his estranged teenage son on a camping trip. In the title story, a woman contemplates what to get her boyfriend for his birthday and comes up with a startling idea. At times breathtakingly poignant and always luminous, Black's prose irresistibly invites readers to root for the main characters and to savor their small triumphs and joys along with them. Lucidly written and laced through with ironic wit, I Knew You'd Be Lovely is an auspicious debut. Its irrepressible optimism will buoy readers, filling them with hope and delight.