Homesick makes the idea of home into a prism and beams a core of queerness through it, refracting into nine surreal and moving stories about families lost, found and transformed. The stories vary from formal experiments to deeply felt character meditations, from a three-page piece of flash fiction to a well-developed novella, and from heartbreak to horror to humor. Over all they excel in a kind of subtle startling, like meeting unexpected ripples in a mirror.
The New York Times Book Review - Amal El-Mohtar
PW reviewer Cipri’s patchwork debut SF collection brings together nine stories about people, most of whom fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, struggling to connect with one another in bizarre circumstances. Other than that theme, the works have little in common. Some play with form: “Which Super Little Dead Girl™ Are You?” is a creepy Buzzfeed-style quiz that snarkily reveals the details of four girls’ gruesome murders, and “Dead Air” is a terrifying found-footage thriller about a lesbian who audiotapes her relationships. Two character-driven epistolary stories, “Let Down, Set Free” and “The Shape of My Name,” respectively feature a divorcee riding a flying tree and a transmasculine time traveler who’s trying to better understand his estranged mother’s choices. In “Not an Ocean but the Sea,” a disgruntled housekeeper finds an ocean hidden under furniture. “Presque Vu” chronicles a lonely gay ride-share driver living through an apocalypse. Vibrant characters ground the well-written stories. The collection’s diversity is both a strength and a weakness; there’s something for everyone, but few people are likely to love it in its entirety. Agent: DongWon Song, Morhaim Literary. (Oct.)
Homesick makes the idea of home into a prism and beams a core of queerness through it, refracting into nine surreal and moving stories about families lost, found and transformed. The stories vary from formal experiments to deeply felt character meditations, from a three-page piece of flash fiction to a well-developed novella, and from heartbreak to horror to humor. Over all they excel in a kind of subtle startling, like meeting unexpected ripples in a mirror. ... Absolutely wonderful in every respect." New York Times Book Review "These stories are so deliciously queer and dark and playful; Cipri is a treasure." Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties "The fantastical landscapes of Cipri’s nine tales heighten the moments of crisis that force characters to confront the here and now as well as life’s gritty unknowns." Booklist "These stories are delicious speculative confections, as masterful as Kelly Link’s but even more approachable. ... For Cipri, home is elusive, problematized, and an ache for home encompasses a desire for acceptance, safety, and even innocence." Vol 1 Brooklyn "The queer stories in Homesick are as mystifying as they are provocative, and will appeal to fans of literary fiction and speculative genre fiction alike ... Since it's a collection of stories, Homesick offers many stopping points. Like unraveling the mysteries of prehistoric intelligent weasels, however, stopping proves to be quite impossible." Shelf Awareness "Emerging writer and self-described weirdo mixes monsters, zombies, Super Little Dead Girls and poltergeists with screenplay, lists and good old-fashioned storytelling. The result: an excellent and entertaining collection. ... Also, shout-out to Cipri’s snappy dialogue and devotion to offbeat rhetorical questions 'Do you think zombies can go through revolving doors?'" Broken Pencil Magazine "A riveting first collection that announces a major new talent unafraid to embrace the beauty of the mysterious. Uncanny, gorgeous, unyielding, original, and unforgettable." Ann and Jeff VanderMeer "I remember reading Nino Cipri's first pro story and saying, 'This is someone whose career I want to follow.' The fact that that first story is included in this collection is testament to the mature, electric voice Cipri has cultivated from the beginning. Every story here is a gem that deserves to be read and read again." Sarah Pinsker, author of Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea "It's hard for my to wrap my mind around how, exactly, a book can be so simultaneously scary and sweet, terrifying and tender. In both individual stories, and throughout the whole collection, Nino Cipri traverses a dizzying range of emotional and imaginative territory. These are high-concept storiesfeaturing time travel, hauntings, and some very scary little girlsbut they always remain rooted in the reality of human feeling. Cipri is one of our most imaginative and insightful new writers, and this is a genuinely brilliant book." Kristen Roupenian, author of "Cat Person" and You Know You Want This "Nino Cipri's Homesick is the best story collection I've read in ages. Every one of these short stories is a tiny reality bomb, delightfully demolishing my expectations while opening up passageways to places I'd never been before. Equal parts queer and surreal, these tales will captivate your heart while keeping you guessing and wondering. A must for fans of Kelly Link and Justin Chin." Charlie Jane Anders, author of The City in the Middle of the Night
Nine speculative stories capture the most universal parts of humanity through an organic and refreshing take on the paranormal, all while letting queer, neurodiverse, transgender, and nonbinary characters take the lead.
Neuroatypical artist Jeremy is sure there's an art-appreciating ghost in his closet, but he's more interested in getting to know his bigender neighbor, Merion, in "A Silly Love Story." The ghost is the perfect excuse to explore art, love, and personhood as, together, Jeremy and Merion try to paint the ghost a perfect still-life. Ghosts also roam freely in "Presque Vu," though nobody knows why they suddenly arrived. Clay wakes every morning with a metal key lodged in his throat—his specific haunting—while also dealing with the day-to-day issues of depression and a new relationship with Joe, whose own haunting may know what the keys are for. In "She Hides Sometimes," Anjana's childhood home slowly, and literally, disappears when her mother develops dementia. Or is Anjana losing her memories too? Author Cipri, themself a queer, trans/nonbinary writer, uses the paranormal as the perfect lens for exploring everyday humanity. Interview transcripts between romantically entangled humans and monsters, zombie magazine quizzes, and archaeological mysteries wrap love and loss with a depth of character unusual in such short pieces. Some stories may have more paranormal elements than others, some may be sweeter or creepier, but they'll all haunt readers long after the book is closed.
A beautiful, sometimes haunting, always inviting and inclusive collection about life, love, and the paranormal.