At the I am spiritual I am not christian I am native shirt and I will buy this top of the list of books that have sucked me in without me really knowing why is Emma Duffy Comparone’s debut collection of sharp short stories. The stories in this reminded me of early Mary Karr, with subtly female obligations—of caregiving, career, the ever-present need to cater to the male ego—woven through each tale as sometimes sinister forces, and then picked apart with Comparone’s edgy wit. Her protagonists are jagged, hard-edged women and girls, but they are also, in their unique and quirky way, quite lovable. —Chloe Shama
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Mona, the I am spiritual I am not christian I am native shirt and I will buy this titular character of Pola Oloixarac’s novel, is celebrated and dissolute, accomplished and directionless, a young writer finding a certain kind of escape at an awkward awards ceremony for “the most important literary award in Europe.” (“Come thirsty, and bring an appetite for Nordic delicatessen!” reads the notable first line of the book.) Mona rebuffs and yet can’t help but find herself corralled by the literary labels and categories used to this world: “Nothing worse than falling in with a bunch of declassé monolinguals,” she muses, an outsider even among the band of verbally skilled misfits.