Rachel C. Staff Picks
A cinematic, sun-drenched, and alcohol-fueled romp through the streets, beaches, and cafes of 1970s Rome. Calligarich's prose is highly quotable and quietly devastating.
The characters in Bad Behavior are all young, full of longing and self-destructive impulses.
As Gaitskill says, they are ''people in a little ugly world that in their own way they try to make pretty," shaped after her own experiences of living and working in NYC as a twenty-something. They don't understand themselves or their desires, which makes them equally fascinating and frustrating. The stories in this collection are spare, unsentimental, and quietly devastating. "The Secretary," gave me chills.
I picked this one up for its absurd premise and stayed for the increasingly unhinged antics of its main characters! Saint Sebastian's Abyss pokes fun at the insularity and rivalry between two art critics, but it also begs the question, why do we value some art over other art? And, what's really fueling our lifelong obsessions?
This is horror with a healthy dose of heart!
Simmons balances genuine scares with the all of the wonder and anxiety of being young and realizing that there are things out there that the adults in your life can't protect you from.
You know her for Rebecca, but did you know that her short stories were direct inspiration for movies like Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now?
The queen of gothic romance is also a master of suspense and this is by far one of my favorite short story collections!
This is noir at its most depraved.
On its face it's a twisty murder mystery with a slew of unreliable narrators and cut-throat social climbers.
But it's also about the pressures that society places on women and the ways they bend (or break) under the strain, becoming something unrecognizable in the process.
Drnaso offers a chilling take on the modern condition, delving into issues of privacy, desensitization to violence, and rising isolation and paranoia in the age of the internet.
Kleeman's book has it all: Religious cults, identity theft, kleptomaniacs who hoard veal cutlets, and a continuous reel of increasingly disturbing commercials. A clever satire on modern consumer culture and a truly bizarre debut. Recommended reading for fans of DeLillo's White Noise.
A graphic retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Poem Strip is a sexy, surreal descent into the Underworld, pulsing with color and dripping with subtext! Another gem from NYRB.