One of Literary Hub’s Best Books of 2016
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction Longlist
“Core captures a precious slice of what it is to be human. . . . She reaches moments of extraordinary grace.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Pick up this book and prepare to face sublime recognition.” —Rookie
“Full of dazzling insight and empathy.” —Refinery 29
A sly, provocative, and psychologically astute debut story collection from a 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.