Little Sinners, and Other Stories by Karen Brown
(Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)

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Little Sinners may be the most realistic and authentically written work of fiction this reviewer has come across in his 40 literary fiction reviews for New York Journal of Books.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Karen Brown’s Little Sinners, and Other Stories features a sad, strange mosaic of women and men grappling with the loss and pain of everyday existence, people inhabiting a suburban landscape haunted by ghosts: a mother who leaps from a ridge, a mistress found at the bottom of the Connecticut River, a father who dresses in a pale blue-custom suit—and disappears. The dead leave behind postcards, houses, bottles of sherry, bones. They become local legends, their stories part of the characters’ own: an expectant mother in an isolated cottage on Long Island Sound uncovers an unsettling secret in her backyard; a troubled housewife is lured to a dinner party by a teenage girl whose mother has vanished under mysterious circumstances; a woman and her lover swim the pools of their neighborhood under cover of darkness; a young heiress struggles with mortality and the abandonments in her past.

These stories capture the domestic world in all its blighted promise—a world where women’s roles in housekeeping, marriage, childbirth, and sex have been all too well defined, and where the characters fashion, recklessly and passionately, their own methods of escape.
  

 

About Karen Brown

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Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida.
 
Published September 1, 2012 by University of Nebraska Press. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Little Sinners, and Other Stories
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NY Journal of Books

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Reviewed by Michael Adelberg on Aug 06 2012

Little Sinners may be the most realistic and authentically written work of fiction this reviewer has come across in his 40 literary fiction reviews for New York Journal of Books.

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