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I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like
400 pages; Counterpoint
Over the past two decades, Noy Holland has been quietly publishing some of the finest short stories written in the English language. This collection brings together 44 of her best. Ranging in length from 73 pages (the unforgettable story "Orbit" about young siblings living alone in a home with their dying mother) to a single chiseled page, these dazzling fictions conjure every emotion you can name and, more importantly, those you can't. "Nothing lasts, but nothing is finished, either," she writes. "The brain boils and cools, same as many things, heals with the slickness of scars." By turns earthy, reverent, poetic and wry, these stories don't so much "describe what it feels like" as make you feel what it feels like—the "it" being what it is to be fully alive in the world.  
— Dawn Raffel