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The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history. Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and x-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and r The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history. Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and x-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters' lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. In "Boys Go to Jupiter," a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. In "Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain," a photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend's unexpectedly dramatic wedding. And in the eye-opening title novella, a black scholar from Washington, DC, is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk.


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The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history. Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and x-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and r The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history. Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and x-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters' lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. In "Boys Go to Jupiter," a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. In "Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain," a photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend's unexpectedly dramatic wedding. And in the eye-opening title novella, a black scholar from Washington, DC, is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk.

30 review for The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roxane

    WIth the seven brilliant stories in The Office of Historical Corrections, Danielle Evans demonstrates, once again, that she is the finest short story writer working today. These stories are sly and prescient, a nuanced reflection of the world we are living in, one where the rules are changing, and truth is mutable and resentments about nearly everything have breached the surface of what is socially acceptable. These stories are wickedly smart and haunting in what they say about the human conditi WIth the seven brilliant stories in The Office of Historical Corrections, Danielle Evans demonstrates, once again, that she is the finest short story writer working today. These stories are sly and prescient, a nuanced reflection of the world we are living in, one where the rules are changing, and truth is mutable and resentments about nearly everything have breached the surface of what is socially acceptable. These stories are wickedly smart and haunting in what they say about the human condition. Whether it is a young woman testing the boundaries of what she can get away with or a bride keeping her soon-to-be husband’s friend close as she tries to discern the true nature of their relationship or a historian trying to uncover the truth about a racist tragedy from the past, Evans has the range. Her language is nimble, her sentences immensely pleasurable to read, and in every single story there is a breathtaking surprise, an unexpected turn, a moment that will leave you speechless, and wanting more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    emma

    2020 was, in many (read: basically all) ways, the worst year of all time forever, but there was one good thing: i have never read so many books in one year where i had nothing to say other than "read this." so, uh. read this. and that's all. ------------- pre-review oh, man. review to come / 4.5 stars might raise to 5 ------------- tbr review too many books are sounding too good lately. it's a problem. 2020 was, in many (read: basically all) ways, the worst year of all time forever, but there was one good thing: i have never read so many books in one year where i had nothing to say other than "read this." so, uh. read this. and that's all. ------------- pre-review oh, man. review to come / 4.5 stars might raise to 5 ------------- tbr review too many books are sounding too good lately. it's a problem.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / 4 ½ stars The Office of Historical Corrections is a striking collection of short stories, easily the best one to be published this year. Unlike many other collections—which tend to have a few forgettable or ‘weaker’ stories—The Office of Historical Corrections has only hits. There isn’t one story that bored me or wasn’t as good as the rest. This is truly a standout collection. If you happen to be a fan of authors such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Edwidge Dantica / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / 4 ½ stars The Office of Historical Corrections is a striking collection of short stories, easily the best one to be published this year. Unlike many other collections—which tend to have a few forgettable or ‘weaker’ stories—The Office of Historical Corrections has only hits. There isn’t one story that bored me or wasn’t as good as the rest. This is truly a standout collection. If you happen to be a fan of authors such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Edwidge Danticat, and Brit Bennett you should definitely give The Office of Historical Corrections a shot. This collection contains 6 short stories and 1 novella. Although each one of these has its own distinctive narrative, they do examine similar themes but they do so through different, and at times opposing, perspectives. With nuance and precision Evans navigates the realities of contemporary America, focusing in particular on the experiences of black people in a country that considers white to be the 'norm'. There are so many things to love about this collection. Evans’ prose is superb. Her writing is incisive, evocative, and perfectly renders her characters and the diverse situations they are in without ever being overly descriptive or purply. While short stories and novellas are usually plot-driven, Evans’ narratives spouse a razor-sharp commentary—on race, modern culture, class—with compelling character-studies. The scenarios and issues Evans explores are certainly topical. In ‘Boys Go to Jupiter’ a white college student, Claire, is labelled racist after her sort-of-boyfriend posts a photo of her wearing a Confederate bikini. Rather than apologising or even acknowledging what this flag truly symbolises Claire decides to make matters worse for herself by ridiculing a black student’s outrage at her bikini and by claiming that the flag is part of her heritage. As this controversy unfolds we learn of her childhood, of how she became close with two siblings who were for a time neighbours of hers, of her mother’s illness and eventual death, and of the part she played in her friend’s death. This story is very much about denial, culpability, and grief. It also brought to mind ‘White Women LOL’ by Sittenfeld and Rebecca Makkai's ‘Painted Ocean, Painted Ship’. The titular novella instead follows two black women who have never been on easy terms. This is partly due to their different economic backgrounds and partly due to their different temperaments. Having lost touch after college they both end up working at the Institute for Public History where they are tasked with correcting historical inaccuracies/mistakes. Often their corrections raise awareness about America’s colonial and racist past in order to challenge white historical narratives. Given all discussions about decolonising the curriculum and about historical statues and monuments this novella definitely touches on some relevant topics. The revisions made by the Institute for Public History are often not well met and they are targeted by white ‘preservationists’. As our narrator unearths the true story behind a black shopkeeper’s death back in 1937 she unwillingly joins ‘forces’ with Genevieve, her longtime not-quite-friend. The two women have very different approaches and their search for the truth behind this man’s death soon sparks the anger of the white ‘preservationists’. All of these stories are worth a read. My personal favourites where ‘Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain’, ‘Alcatraz’, ‘Why Won’t Women Just Say What They Want’ (which had some serious Kevin Wilson vibes), and ‘Anything Could Disappear’ (this almost had me in tears). There are so many things to love about this collection: Evans’ focus on women and the thorny relationships they can have with one another, the wry humour that underlines these stories, Evans’ ability to capture diverse and nuanced emotions. The list goes on. Evans’ stories are thought-provoking and populated by memorable and fully fleshed out characters. Although she exerts an admirable control over her language, her writing is arresting. Evans does not waste words and she truly packs a punch in this ‘infamous’ medium (short stories are often seen in terms of their limitations) . Throughout this collection Evans’ touches themes of injustice, forgiveness, history (a character’s personal history as well as a nation’s history), freedom and identity, grief, loss, fear, failed relationships and human connection. This is a fantastic collection and you should definitely give it a try.

  4. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of 6 short stories and one novella all written by Danielle Evans. They similar cover themes of race, prejudice, womanhood, home and truth but in differing ways from story to story. As is always the case with short story collections, I found some to be stronger than others and just naturally connected with a few more than the rest. When a story was good- it was really good, but I also found a few to be lacking. ➽Happily Ever After This was the The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of 6 short stories and one novella all written by Danielle Evans. They similar cover themes of race, prejudice, womanhood, home and truth but in differing ways from story to story. As is always the case with short story collections, I found some to be stronger than others and just naturally connected with a few more than the rest. When a story was good- it was really good, but I also found a few to be lacking. ➽Happily Ever After This was the first story in the collection, and while it was a solid opening, it didn't really wow me. It followed a woman who works at a titanic replica, and gets invited to participate in a music video shoot. It focuses on her relationship with men, and while some lines were thought provoking I was overall underwhelmed. ➽Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain This short story was about a wedding that goes off the rails and the interconnecting lives of some of the attendees. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and found it to be engaging and exciting. ➽Boys Go To Jupiter Boys Go To Jupiter was undoubtedly one of my favourites in this collection. We follow Claire, a white student who gets labelled racist after wearing a Confederate bikini, and digs herself deeper into the hole when she defends her actions. We learn about her background, and a story of grief and denial surfaces. I liked the ambiguity of the story, and how it didn't tell readers what to think. Whether or not you sympathise with Claire is left to you, but either way it was a thought provoking tale about culpability and ignorance. ➽Alcatraz Alcatraz is one of the stories that has completely erased itself from my memory, which says a lot about my enjoyment of it. It was about a family whose patriarch was dishonourably discharged from the army. Some of his descendants are invited for a family reunion at Alcatraz, where he was imprisoned. ➽Why Won't Women Just Say What They Want? I really enjoyed this one! It discusses apologies, a topic I had never really thought of that deeply before. It shows the unlikely bond fused between the exes of a famous artist who caused suffering to each of them. ➽Anything Could Disappear My absolute favourite of the collection, Anything Could Disappear, kept me on the edge of my seat. It follows a young black woman who boards a bus couriering drugs and exits it becoming the mother of an abandoned baby boy. The ending was heartbreaking, and it was the one that made me most emotionally invested out of the whole collection. ➽The Office of Historical Corrections This was the one novella included, and the title piece of the collection. In reading reviews, this seems to be a favourite for many- so I went in with high expectations. However, they weren't quite met and I was left feeling slightly disappointed. I really liked the premise, but the execution was a bit lacking. Let me be clear, I thought it was well written and had some interesting themes, but I just wasn't as connected to it as I had hoped. This is definitely an unpopular opinion, so I would not dissuade you from picking it up, but perhaps temper your expectations first. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection. If you have access to the audiobook, I would recommend it as it is narrated by a different person for each story. If I could only recommend three I would be 'Anything Could Disappear', 'Boys go to Jupiter' and 'Why Won't Women Just Say What They Want'. Thank you to Penguin Random House and Libro.fm for this ALC Release Date: 10 November 2020

  5. 5 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    A stellar collection. So much empathy. Some really unlikeable and yet deeply realistic and complex humans in these stories. Also, plot. Thank goodness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paris (parisperusing)

    “If everything could be erased, anything could disappear. If you could erase everything, you could start again.” Since I know I don’t have all the words to describe how outstanding this book is, let me put it like this, every time I finished a story, I was certain it would be my favorite. And then the next story was my favorite story and then, before I knew it, I’d finished the book. I’d run out of pages to love. There’s so much to admire about the way Danielle Evans’ brain works, the way her “If everything could be erased, anything could disappear. If you could erase everything, you could start again.” Since I know I don’t have all the words to describe how outstanding this book is, let me put it like this, every time I finished a story, I was certain it would be my favorite. And then the next story was my favorite story and then, before I knew it, I’d finished the book. I’d run out of pages to love. There’s so much to admire about the way Danielle Evans’ brain works, the way her characters and their dilemmas — their wishes, their faults, their failings — tugged at the most sensitive spaces of the human condition. In “Boys Go to Jupiter,” a white college student, who haplessly becomes the poster girl for white supremacy after unwittingly sparking a terroristic attack on-campus, succumbs to her disgraced role, and with fatal consequences. “Why Won’t Women Just Say What They Want” interrogates the art and violence of accepting apologies, an unlikely sisterhood forged between ex-girlfriends, ex-wives and one-off lovers through shared heartbreak and the means by which entitled (presumably white) men will go to excuse acts of emotional and sexual abuse, indiscriminate of gender. And in “Anything Could Disappear,” a young Black drug courier boards a bus and, upon disembarking in New York, suddenly becomes mother to an abandoned baby boy, who, thwarting her scheme for a happier life, brings her to make a heartbreaking decision. Challenging ideas of race, truth, home and redemption, The Office of Historical Corrections lays bare the fear of bleeding yourself dry against the canvas of this big, bad world. Smart, sophisticated and brazenly brilliant, this was the easiest five stars I’ve given a book all year. Danielle is a top tier writer, and the evidence is all here. Would definitely recommend to anyone who loved Nafissa Thompson-Spires' Heads of the Colored People and Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marcy Dermansky

    Blown away by these stories. Every story, something happens I would have never predicted and this fills me with delight. I also love the sentences, the open endings. Most exciting thing I have read, it feels like, in a long time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review. Ironically, Danielle Evans' devastating short stories highlight the main reason why I've vogued out of being a reader of short stories over the years: the stories end too quickly. She writes such compelling characters and she sucks you right into tiny, perfectly formed little worlds and then it's over even though you want to know so much more about it all and you have to forget about that world and those characters and have your h I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review. Ironically, Danielle Evans' devastating short stories highlight the main reason why I've vogued out of being a reader of short stories over the years: the stories end too quickly. She writes such compelling characters and she sucks you right into tiny, perfectly formed little worlds and then it's over even though you want to know so much more about it all and you have to forget about that world and those characters and have your heart broken by the next ones. I've been waiting for ten years for new work from her and this is just as scrumptious and excellent as her last book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    The only story collection I can think of that would translate perfectly to screen as some kind of anthology series. The kind of stories even people who don't like stories will surely enjoy. The only story collection I can think of that would translate perfectly to screen as some kind of anthology series. The kind of stories even people who don't like stories will surely enjoy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    Some enjoyable stories, overall was ok.

  11. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    Fantastic. Honestly, the first two of the seven stories in The Office of Historical Corrections were good but not anything that got me hype. However, each of the following five stories continued to increase in dopeness. The book eventually culminated with the best of the best, saved for last, and fittingly called the title of the book: The Office of Historical Corrections. That last story, the longest of the bunch, was a masterpiece. I have to say, Black women! BLACK WOMEN. Listen, as I’m readin Fantastic. Honestly, the first two of the seven stories in The Office of Historical Corrections were good but not anything that got me hype. However, each of the following five stories continued to increase in dopeness. The book eventually culminated with the best of the best, saved for last, and fittingly called the title of the book: The Office of Historical Corrections. That last story, the longest of the bunch, was a masterpiece. I have to say, Black women! BLACK WOMEN. Listen, as I’m reading this in December, black women have been killing this literary game and deserve mad awards and recognition. I’ve read so many phenomenal books by black women this year, I feel elated with the quality of these offerings. Not that I expected anything less, but damn, black women’s ability to capture the nuances of situations of our experiences and present them to a large audience. It’s fire. It’s flames. It’s all there for you to read. For anyone to read. For you to get drunk off of how good, vast and worthyyyy it is. Danielle Evans, our author, shared some incredibly involved and historically layered stories revisiting the injustices against black women and black families but astutely highlighted how black women keep going and keep pushing forward in the face of whatever is thrown their way. From dudes who treated them like garbage, to kids being literally abandoned in bus stations in their care, to men who put them in situations where they were left at the altar and decided in true black girl fashion ”fuck dat nigga” which as we all know, is an African proverb. Ask Dreezy. I loved the impassible nature of the various women in each story. Even though each woman battled through her own internal conflict in each story, they were able to reach the resolution she needed to reach, whether or not we agreed with it. The story Alcatraz hurt so much. The legacy of pain and hardship that can arise in a life or in a family when a lack of justice occurs is so wide and deep that you could drown in it. Black folks know this so deeply it’s wild. The story Why Won’t Women Just Say What They Want made me laugh, made me angry and made me happy all at once. It makes me laugh at the circumstances that make people feel like they should be forgiven just because they’ve apologized. You are not entitled to anyone’s forgiveness! People you’ve hurt don’t have to forgive you! That story took me all the way out. All in all, I really liked this set of stories. I really enjoy Danielle Evans's work and I have no doubt I'm going to read her other book, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, very soon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    Strong, memorable, female characters in every story... (chef kiss). I couldn’t get enough of these stories and I honestly wanted more. Highly recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ari Levine

    Stunningly brilliant, and one of my absolute favorites of 2020. Review to come.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mitch Loflin

    Very likely my new favorite story collection. I don't know how to talk about this collection in a way that doesn't feel trite. I'm just really glad that I read them. Engrossing and sharp stories, compelling characters, beautiful beautiful language, and then just the most perfect STRUCTURE. Imagine being this good at doing literally anything. I can't!!! Very likely my new favorite story collection. I don't know how to talk about this collection in a way that doesn't feel trite. I'm just really glad that I read them. Engrossing and sharp stories, compelling characters, beautiful beautiful language, and then just the most perfect STRUCTURE. Imagine being this good at doing literally anything. I can't!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maximilian Birner

    The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of short stories by Danielle Evans which offers us quick snapshots of other people's lives in this modern day of age. Everything in this collection feels very relevant with all of the confederate flag discussions and a hot-line for historical inaccuracies. While I did enjoy some of the topics, a lot of the stories were missing something for me. Without a doubt, in this short collection of stories my favorite was Anything Could Dissapear which The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of short stories by Danielle Evans which offers us quick snapshots of other people's lives in this modern day of age. Everything in this collection feels very relevant with all of the confederate flag discussions and a hot-line for historical inaccuracies. While I did enjoy some of the topics, a lot of the stories were missing something for me. Without a doubt, in this short collection of stories my favorite was Anything Could Dissapear which had me the most invested. It has honest characters and a pretty strong conflict that feels perfectly resolved. Boys Go To Jupiter is another favorite although I feel like this could've been one of the longer stories. I think probably every other story in the collection was missing something. I didn't find the conflicts engaging enough in a lot of them and the endings didn't land as well as the other two stories I mentioned. While they were definitely well written, they didn't really hold my attention. I'll definitely read more from Danielle Evans, but I'd possibly enjoy less but lengthier stories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    This collection of six short stories and a novella focuses on U.S. history and race. Each story has a strong voice with characters navigating personal and national history and its lasting effects. In Boys Go to Jupiter, a white college student struggles with her own past after a photo of her in a Confederate flag bikini goes viral. In Anything Could Disappear, a woman boards a bus to the city with a load of drugs that will give her the money to start over and exits with an abandoned baby. In the no This collection of six short stories and a novella focuses on U.S. history and race. Each story has a strong voice with characters navigating personal and national history and its lasting effects. In Boys Go to Jupiter, a white college student struggles with her own past after a photo of her in a Confederate flag bikini goes viral. In Anything Could Disappear, a woman boards a bus to the city with a load of drugs that will give her the money to start over and exits with an abandoned baby. In the novella The Office of Historical Corrections, a Black scholar from D.C. travels to Wisconsin to confront an old friend from her past and solve a historical mystery spanning several generations that will spill family secrets and ignite violence. Short story collections are very hit-or-miss for me but I can highly recommendThe Office of Historical Corrections because it kept me invested in the characters and their message. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yasmine

    To start the new year with a 5 star, wow. It blew me away and honestly surprised me how my emotions played out with each story. This book includes six collections of short stories and one novella. Beautiful writing and BRILLIANT stories, I even cried at the end of a few of them. Concluding with that novella? I gasped when I finished. So glad I read this and highly recommend. I know I’ll think of different moments from these stories from time to time. It’s almost haunting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janssen

    I just . . . don't really like short stories. I just . . . don't really like short stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of my favourite reads of 2020 and also one of my favourite short story collections ever! Everything about this book impressed me - the themes, the writing, the characterisation, the pacing. The women in these stories are all trying to correct something that has gone wrong, either in their lives or in the world around them, but this loose thematic connection between the stories never felt forced or obvious; it just allowed Evans to create a handful of perfect tales which will stay with me for One of my favourite reads of 2020 and also one of my favourite short story collections ever! Everything about this book impressed me - the themes, the writing, the characterisation, the pacing. The women in these stories are all trying to correct something that has gone wrong, either in their lives or in the world around them, but this loose thematic connection between the stories never felt forced or obvious; it just allowed Evans to create a handful of perfect tales which will stay with me for a long time. Thank you Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    Probably more of a 3.5 but I am rounding up. This is a very well written collection of stories which felt very engrossing and full of depth, but ultimately left me feeling dissatisfied because many of them didn’t give me the kind of closure I expected. I understand they are short stories but most of them felt like beginnings, and I would enjoy more if they were all longer. However, it’s still an interesting anthology and I would also recommend the audiobook for its wonderful cast of narrators.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Miesha Wilson Headen

    I have been holding my breath for Danielle Evan's next book of short stories since Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. The Office of Historical Corrections was worth the wait. She delivers the same great story telling, insight, and sharp cultural commentary. Her touch on themes usually associated with older people, such as redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, moved me. I read the whole collection in two days. I have been holding my breath for Danielle Evan's next book of short stories since Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. The Office of Historical Corrections was worth the wait. She delivers the same great story telling, insight, and sharp cultural commentary. Her touch on themes usually associated with older people, such as redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, moved me. I read the whole collection in two days.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    Each story here is a whole, complete world. I'm in awe of her creativity. Truly a master story teller. I read one a day, a great way to savor this collection. Each story here is a whole, complete world. I'm in awe of her creativity. Truly a master story teller. I read one a day, a great way to savor this collection.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was so good. Each story was layered and surprising and thought-provoking. I was absolutely riveted.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    Absolutely fantastic. Every single story is superb -- to the point that I can't even really pick a favorite. The title novella is worth the price of admission alone, but that could be said for nearly any of these tales. Evans writes with warmth and humor and keenness; a necessary collection, ideal for our 2020 malaise. Absolutely fantastic. Every single story is superb -- to the point that I can't even really pick a favorite. The title novella is worth the price of admission alone, but that could be said for nearly any of these tales. Evans writes with warmth and humor and keenness; a necessary collection, ideal for our 2020 malaise.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Billy-Ray Belcourt

    A beguiling, immersive, surprising book! The twists and turns were always unexpected and revelatory. Didn't want it to end! A beguiling, immersive, surprising book! The twists and turns were always unexpected and revelatory. Didn't want it to end!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marcela

    Wasn't sure what my take away was supposed to be from these stories. I feel they incited the opposite reaction from what the author was going for. BOTM Wasn't sure what my take away was supposed to be from these stories. I feel they incited the opposite reaction from what the author was going for. BOTM

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nerdette Podcast

    I'm not usually a fan of short story collections, but this one completely floored me. The pacing is compelling, the sentences shimmer, and it's a pleasure to read while still being About Real Things. The novella at the end is astounding, and something I'm so glad I have in my brain. It's the sort of book I want to urgently press into peoples' hands, eyes wide, and say "READ THIS." I'm not usually a fan of short story collections, but this one completely floored me. The pacing is compelling, the sentences shimmer, and it's a pleasure to read while still being About Real Things. The novella at the end is astounding, and something I'm so glad I have in my brain. It's the sort of book I want to urgently press into peoples' hands, eyes wide, and say "READ THIS."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Review forthcoming in Bust.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jan Priddy

    I loved her first collection, but this one is better. And much as I'm sure her publishers wanted a novel, they need to leave her alone. Evans is the strongest writer of short fiction I've read in over a decade. Simple as that. These are not happy stories, but they are real and powerful and worthy. Beautiful. Some authors seem to wallow in cruelty, but Evans does something astonishing with the lives of the people in her stories: she makes them breathe and she gives them their moment of focus with I loved her first collection, but this one is better. And much as I'm sure her publishers wanted a novel, they need to leave her alone. Evans is the strongest writer of short fiction I've read in over a decade. Simple as that. These are not happy stories, but they are real and powerful and worthy. Beautiful. Some authors seem to wallow in cruelty, but Evans does something astonishing with the lives of the people in her stories: she makes them breathe and she gives them their moment of focus without insisting that theirs is merely an example to the rest of us. These people have families and real jobs and I had the sense at the end of each story that her people went right on without me, like I'd seen the most important moments of their lives without taking everything they had to give. Maybe that doesn't make sense. I found one of the stories online and sent it to my son because I felt it offered him some truth he needed in his life. The final story, the title novella was a slow burn at first. I thought she didn't need the invented government agency to tell it, was spending too much time world-building. But even in that moment, I suspected I was wrong to have doubts, and my doubted doubt was true. That story ate up my heart. This is a book to share, and I will pack it up in the next week and send it to someone I care about. As my first book of the year, there's a pretty solid chance it will be the best.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brianna - Coffee Books and Bullet Journals

    If you have followed me for a while, you know I’m not usually a fan of short stories and novellas but this book makes me question that stance! This was so strong and while these stories were short, they drew me in from the beginning and packed a punch. Alcatraz was probably my favorite story!

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