When Watched: Stories

Paperback | August 9, 2016

byLeopoldine Core

not yet rated|write a review
“A striking debut. . . . Core is a master raconteur. . . . Entrancing, subtle, and tragically poetic.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Full of dazzling insight and empathy.” —Refinery 29

A sly, provocative, and psychologically astute debut story collection from a 2015 Whiting Award winner

In Leopoldine Core's stories, you never know where you are going to end up. Populated by sex workers and artists, lovers and friends, her characters are endlessly striving to understand each other. And while they may seem to operate at the margins, there is something eminently relatable, even elemental about their romantic relationships, their personal demons, and the strange shapes their joy can take. 
Refreshing, witty, and absolutely close to the heart, Core's twenty stories, set in and around New York City, have an other-worldly quality along with a deep seriousness—even a moral seriousness. What we know of identity is smashed and in its place, true individuals emerge, each bristling with a unique sexuality, a belief-system all their own. Reminiscent of Jane Bowles, William Burroughs, and Colette, her writing glows with an authenticity that is intoxicating and rare. 
Dirty and squalid, poetic and pure, Core bravely tunnels straight to the center of human suffering and longing. This collection announces a daring and deeply sensitive new voice.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.96 online
$22.00 list price
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

“A striking debut. . . . Core is a master raconteur. . . . Entrancing, subtle, and tragically poetic.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Full of dazzling insight and empathy.” —Refinery 29A sly, provocative, and psychologically astute debut story collection from a 2015 Whiting Award winnerIn Leopoldine Core's stories, you never know whe...

Leopoldine Core was born and raised in New York’s East Village and graduated from Hunter College. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Joyland, Open City, PEN America and Apology Magazine, among others. She is the recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for fiction, as well as fellowships from The Center for Fiction and The Fine Arts Work...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.7 × 5.07 × 0.62 inPublished:August 9, 2016Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143128698

ISBN - 13:9780143128694

Look for similar items by category:


Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“These distinct stories are flawless and strange at the same time. Core’s command of detail and nuance allows each of these stories to shimmer with just the lightest touch. . . . The writing is smart, profound, and sexy.”—Travel + Leisure, “The Best Books to Read on Vacation This Summer”“A striking debut collection of 19 short stories revolving around sexuality and city life. . . . Core is a master raconteur and organizes all of her tales around objects and places (most take place in a bedroom or in transit); she captures a quintessential New York cynicism—one punctuated with hopeless romanticism, stress, and hyperstimulation. But the cynicism also produces pure moments of bliss. . . . Entrancing, subtle, and tragically poetic, this collection is an important contribution to queer literature.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Leopoldine Core is the author that’s turning everybody’s heads. These stories set in NYC form an unforgettable work about sexuality, identity, and gender.” —Bustle“Full of dazzling insight and empathy, each of the 19 stories in this debut will force you to consider how personal identity is impossible to pin down: We are all chameleons, shifting parts of ourselves to make the best of new circumstances. While there is an undeniable headiness to Core's collection, her writing is never heavy-handed: It's refreshing—even bright—and full of heart. This new voice fills a void that, until finishing the final pages, we didn't know was sorely missing. But now that When Watched has surfaced, we can't wait for more from Core.” —Refinery 29“[A] spiky collection.”—Ladies’ Home Journal“A stunning collection of short stories. Like most of her writing, the tales are often dark, always precise, and hard to put down.”—Afar magazine“This debut short story collection reveals Core’s wisdom and deep understanding of the limits of human connection. The most intimate scenes of these short yet powerful stories, most of which take place in New York City, occur in the small, claustrophobic spaces of apartments and, most tellingly, bedrooms. . . . Core’s dialogue is by turns searching and revelatory in this accomplished and singular new voice.”—Publishers Weekly“Leopoldine Core is one of the most original new writers I've come across. Reading her carefully laid out sentences is like following a trail of white pebbles through a dark forest of strange insights and passion. Her ardent wanderers exist in the ever-churning flux of their moods and minds, in a haunted, desperate, and bejewelled New York. I get so much from being in her worlds.”—Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?“Leopoldine Core writes deceptively poetic prose—there’s a delicacy to it, without being precious at all, and it leaves you with a feeling that resonates long after. She captures an essence of her generation, a sort of alienated and self-destructive ennui. I felt so protective toward these characters, like I wanted to reach into the pages and pull them out and save them from themselves.”—Molly Ringwald, author of When It Happens to You “Intent on both wasting and appreciating their youth, Leopoldine Core’s distinct and fascinating characters know they’re being watched but seldom fully seen. But every now and then, they see each other. And they don’t just meticulously observe the sweetly gritty East Village of the recent past; they bring it absolutely to life.”—Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness  “Powerful and lucid, these stories are full of pain and sex and the cutting things people say to one another.” —Marie Calloway, author of what purpose did i serve in your life“I love the way Leopoldine Core lets her characters fight toward a turbulent happiness.  Like a lesson in how to talk to each other—and also how to be alone.  Fast, lucid, and beautifully blunt, these stories cut and swoop to the conversations and meditations that, of an afternoon, can define an epoch in your life.”—Benjamin Lytal, author of A Map of Tulsa