Brand New Books to Give to Your Best Friends
'Tis here: the most thoughtful books of the season.
1 of 5
Dorothy, a Publishing Project
This aptly titled short-story collection is indeed a wild treat. Everyday situations, such as dropping off a child at daycare, become delightfully (and poignantly) absurd. A flustered teacher named Miss Birdy offers increasingly nonsensical reports (the baby has written his name all by himself, she says, offering as evidence a piece of construction paper on which someone has written the word "shreds") until she eventually blurts out the truth: "I'm so lonely." Meanwhile, another mother is "covered in daughters"—15 of them. Many of these very short tales subvert familiar setups. Two jokes walk into a bar and begin a conversation; a stick figure family comes to riotous life; an aging father has shrunken—to knee height. In a standout story, a grown woman's silver-haired brother is making a "movie" using an old tin can, with family as actors; it's about his "burden of dreams." Enfolding love and fear, paranoia and desire, these deliriously irrational stories manage to make perfect sense.
— Dawn Raffel