Reviews of You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead

You Have a Friend in 10A

Stories

by Maggie Shipstead

You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead X
You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead
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  • Published:
    May 2022, 272 pages

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Book Summary

From the Booker Prize nominee and New York Times bestselling author of Great Circle, a piercing, irresistible first collection of short stories exquisite in their craft and audacious in their range.

A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana dude ranch. A hurdler and a gymnast spend a single night together in the Olympic village. Mistakes and mysteries weave an intangible web around an old man's deathbed in Paris, connecting disparate destinies. On the slopes of an unfinished ski resort, a young woman searches for her vanished lover. A couple's Romanian honeymoon goes ominously awry, and, in the mesmerizing title story, a former child actress breaks with her life in a Hollywood cult.

In these and other stories, knockout after knockout, Maggie Shipstead delivers another "extraordinary" (New York Times) work of fiction and seals her reputation as a writer of "breathtaking range and skill" (Kirkus Reviews). Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.

The Cowboy Tango


When Mr. Glen Otterbausch hired Sammy Boone, she was sixteen and so skinny that the whole of her beanpole body fit neatly inside the circle of shade cast by her hat. For three weeks he'd had an ad in the Bozeman paper for a wrangler, but only two guys had shown up. One smelled like he'd swum across a whiskey river before his truck fishtailed to a dusty stop outside the lodge, and the other man was missing his left arm. Mr. Otterbausch looked away from the man with one arm and told him the job was already filled. He was planning to scale back on beef-raising and go more toward the tourist trade, even though he'd promised his uncle Dex, as Dex breathed his last wheezes, that he would do no such thing. Every summer during his childhood Mr. Otterbausch's schoolteacher parents had sent him to stay with Uncle Dex, a man who resembled a petrified log in both body and spirit. He had a face of knurled bark and knotholes for eyes and a mouth sealed up tight around a burned-down ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Brilliant, funny, and occasionally alarming ... Shipstead seems to move effortlessly from plane to plane, bringing trademark eloquence and humor to each landscape she chooses.

The New York Times
Immersive ... [Shipstead] likes to ground her fiction in reality and has a penchant for research, with an ear tuned to social codes and niche terminology ... There is a generous spirit beneath Shipstead's controlled, sometimes finicky style.

The Guardian (UK)
It's a rare writer who can create a world as convincingly over a few pages as in a 600-page novel; Shipstead's fluency in both forms is testament to the skill she modestly casts as a work in progress.

Booklist (starred review)
Acclaimed author Shipstead turns her considerable talent to the short story, offering readers this sweeping collection crafted over the course of a decade...the resulting collection is an effortlessly transporting and piercing journey...Reaching across decades and set in a diverse array of locations both domestic and exotic, Shipstead's latest will find a home on bookshelves next to the work of Andre Dubus III, Jane Smiley, and Richard Russo.

Library Journal (starred review)
In this follow-up to her Booker short-listed Great Circle, Shipstead displays luminous, exacting language as she demonstrates her flair for creating distinctive characters... essential for fiction lovers.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[A] daring, wide-ranging collection...Shipstead demonstrates a remarkable ability to interlace the events of ordinary life with a mythological sense of preordained destruction. Both formally inventive and emotionally complex, this pays off with dividends.

Kirkus Reviews
This collection of short stories, mostly written in grad school at the Iowa Writers Workshop and all previously published in literary journals, takes us backward rather than forward. Experimenting with a range of styles, subject matter, and effects, the collection is uneven...good writing and funny observations about sex are found throughout...Not the next novel we were waiting for.

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    An unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost - Great Circle spans Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London, and modern-day Los Angeles.

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