From the Booker Prize nominee and New York Times best-selling author of Great Circle, a piercing, irresistible first collection of short stories exquisite in their craft and audacious in their range
A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana dude ranch. A hurdler and a gymnast spend a single night together in the Olympic village. Mistakes and mysteries weave an intangible web around an old man’s deathbed in Paris, connecting disparate destinies. On the slopes of an unfinished ski resort, a young woman searches for her vanished lover. A couple’s Romanian honeymoon goes ominously awry, and, in the mesmerizing title story, a former child actress breaks with her life in a Hollywood cult.
In these and other stories, knockout after knockout, Maggie Shipstead delivers another “extraordinary” (New York Times) work of fiction and seals her reputation as a writer of “breathtaking range and skill” (Kirkus Reviews). Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.
MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels Great Circle, Astonish Me, and Seating Arrangements and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Los Angeles.
“The stories in You Have a Friend in 10A chart the evolution over more than a decade of [Shipstead’s] unnerving ability to capture a character’s inner life in a few choice phrases and to pinpoint the unique collision of personality flaws that will trigger the story’s drama . . . It’s a rare writer who can create a world as convincingly over a few pages as in a 600-page novel; Shipstead’s fluency in both forms is testament to the skill she modestly casts as a work in progress.” –The Guardian
“This snappy collection of ten short stories—each exhibiting Shipstead’s dazzling knack for conjuring darkly complex characters—reaches the emotional depths of her previous works . . . But the limited word count sharpens Shipstead’s prose in a tight, compelling assortment of dramas. Exacting in her language as ever, Shipstead presents a unified body of work while maintaining remarkable range of voice. If you struggle to keep from starting a few too many books at once—or in this writer’s case, waaay too many books—You Have A Friend In 10A offers an array of intriguing, satisfying, quick reads perfect for punctuating your May rotation.” –AV Club
“Acclaimed author Shipstead turns her considerable talent to the short story, offering readers this sweeping collection crafted over the course of a decade . . . the resulting collection is an effortlessly transporting and piercing journey . . . Reaching across decades and set in a diverse array of locations both domestic and exotic, Shipstead's latest will find a home on bookshelves next to the work of Andre Dubus III, Jane Smiley, and Richard Russo.” –Booklist [Starred Review]
“The 10 stories in this daring, wide-ranging debut collection from Shipstead (after the novel Great Circle) resonate as they leap across time and space . . . The masterwork is the deeply unsettling “La Moretta.” Interspersed with segments from an enigmatic inquisition, it documents a honeymoon excursion gone horribly wrong. Here and throughout, Shipstead demonstrates a remarkable ability to interlace the events of ordinary life with a mythological sense of preordained destruction. Both formally inventive and emotionally complex, this pays off with dividends.” –Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
“In this follow-up to her Booker short-listed Great Circle, Shipstead displays luminous, exacting language as she demonstrates her flair for creating distinctive characters who deal more or less successfully with what life has handed them . . . In the standout “Souterrain” (“subterranean” in French), feckless Iris inherits a house in Paris from her blind grandfather, Pierre, and a story unfolds of a family tragedy during World War II; Pierre’s guilt over his inadvertent role in events, despite his youth; the painfully suppressed past of his housekeeper, Madame Harmou; and the tragic misunderstanding that dooms her son. Here as elsewhere, the characters’ lives are shaped by unexpected or hidden events, large and small, and in the end Pierre’s memories ‘will join the dark matter that surrounds the living: the memories of the dead, undetectable but still exerting force.’” –Library Journal [Starred Review]