See Through Stories By Nelly Reifler

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See Through
160 pages; Simon & Schuster
This funny, compassionate collection of stories veers from the painfully real to the comically surreal. A lonely young girl gets a job taking care of her next door neighbors' cats but is too overwhelmed to go inside the dark, yawning house. A mother faces down her impossibly intelligent baby, who listens to Bach cello pieces and questions why we exist but refuses to cuddle with her. A teenager shows porno magazines to his younger cousin, trying to make him feel better about his father's terminal cancer. These completely original tales—told in completely original language—take you back to those moments, whether in adulthood or childhood, when you were trying to figure out how the world worked or if it even worked at all, like Teeny, the lovable but negligent cat sitter, who thinks about summer camp and "how some of the girls had made wallets, and burned their names into the leather with a glowing hot tool. But the counselors hadn't offered to teach her how to make a wallet. Why? ... Did they know something she didn't know for sure, but suspected? That she wasn't capable of using that burning tool? How did they know that about her? Could anyone know it just from looking at her?" As with many of these stories, you'll laugh at the ridiculousness of the logic but go "ow" with recognition at the feelings they inspire.
— Leigh Newman