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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
The 11 stories in Horrocks's debut collection are breathtaking in their range and depth. From Finland to Ohio and Greece to Michigan, they chart territory both ordinary and exotic. The settings may cover continents, but what's central and consistent are the women who come to life in them. That they are all searching but finding no simple escape is only the beginning of their tales. Yet they seem to have little inclination to follow a less difficult path. Sharing isolation through geography, or circumstance, these women move in the direction of hope even when it proves impossibly elusive. Whether it's the Russian mail-order bride rendered mute by an unfamiliar language or the young schoolteacher who bullies her students until she meets her match, these characters are both surprising and memorable. Neither their actions—a vacationing mother of a severely disabled child writes him 21 postcards he'll never be able to read—nor their desires—a woman traveling in Greece takes a much younger lover hoping to become pregnant—is able to limit these characters' resilience. As theydream of shiny new lives, they struggle to keep faith with the ones that they have.
Darkly comic and emotionally rich, This Is Not Your City is a mesmerizing collection that introduces Horrocks as a masterful new writer. Her graceful, assured debut will astonish readers, encouraging them to look upon their own lives with renewed clarity and feeling.