Back Talk: Book summary and reviews of Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin

Back Talk

Stories

by Danielle Lazarin

Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin X
Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    256 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

From an award-winning writer, a stunning collection of stories about women's unexpressed desires and needs, and the unexpected ways they resurface.

In "Floor Plans," a woman at the end of her marriage tests her power when she inadvertently befriends the neighbor trying to buy her apartment. In "Appetite," a sixteen-year old grieving her mother's death experiences first love and questions how much more heartbreak she and her family can endure. In "Dinosaurs," a recent widower and a young babysitter help each other navigate how much they have to give - and how much they can take - from the people around them.

Through stories that are at once empathetic and unexpected, these women and girls defiantly push the boundaries between selfishness and self-possession. With a fresh voice and bold honesty, Back Talk examines how narrowly our culture allows women to express their desires.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lazarin's exceptional debut collection digs deep into the lives of women, telling complex stories of loss, hope, and joy. ... [Back Talk] is confident and exhilarating; this auspicious collection is uniformly excellent." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. With poignant imagery and a fresh voice, Lazarin portrays these women honestly and relatably. Her exceptional craftsmanship speaks to the heart, as she paints these tales with empathy and a compassion that extends to all humankind." - Booklist

"The stories in this collection batter at the boundaries of female desire - not just for sex, but for intimacy, for visibility, for agency. They talk back to the idea that stories about women are 'domestic,' burrowing deep to find wildness and a smoldering fury beneath. The best collection I've read in years, from a phenomenal new talent." - Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

"The stories in Back Talk are not only fierce and unflinching in their clear-eyed portrayal of women and girls, they are also tender and compassionate, imbued with a deep longing. Lazarin is a sophisticated writer and her remarkable debut offers us subtle but profound truths about growing up, moving forward, and finding ourselves." - Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California

"I fell in love with these elegant, beguiling tales. They're about young women, but they are for everyone, whatever gender, whatever age, so universal is their poignant take on life and loving and loneliness, too. Reading Lazarin's writing is like having a great friend in the room, telling you something that you know you need to hear, and telling it to you brilliantly." - Robin Black, nationally bestselling author of Life Drawing

"These are wonderful stories - sparkling, witty, and tender, riding that sweet spot between urbane and vulnerable, between hilarity and heartbreak - all those impossible contradictions that remind us of what love is like. Lazarin's astonishing insight and craftsmanship put me in mind of short story masters like Beattie and Baxter. I think she's destined for the big leagues." - Dan Chaon, New York Times bestselling author of Ill Will

"Back Talk offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the contemporary family in a state of creative destruction, flying apart and simultaneously reconstituting itself in new forms. Danielle Lazarin guides us through the varied permutations of her extended, blended families with insightful wit, surpassing empathy and wry wisdom." - Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes

"Misfits and mess-ups, dreamers and delinquents, kids chafing at adolescence and adults failing at parenthood - it's easy to see yourself in Danielle Lazarin's characters. But these stories, like all good stories, aren't a mirror: they're a window that shows us the whole world." - Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty

The information about Back Talk shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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More Information

Danielle Lazarin's short stories have won grants from New York Foundation for the Arts and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, the Glimmer Train Family Matters Award, and Hopwood Awards. She is graduate of the writing programs of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program. She lives in her native New York City with her husband and daughters.

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