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Cities I've Never Lived in: Stories (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In this debut collection of stories, Majka shows herself to be a smart and unique new voice in American fiction. Eschewing many of the standard short-story tropes, she moves effortlessly through the life of her main character, a young woman trying to recover her equilibrium following a divorce. With subtlety and grace, Majka connects seemingly small epiphanies to create moments of profound insight and beauty. 

— Rico


In subtle, sensuous prose, the stories in Sara Majka's debut collection explore distance in all its forms: the emotional spaces that open up between family members, friends, and lovers; the gaps that emerge between who we were and who we are; the gulf between our private and public selves. At the center of the collection is a series of stories narrated by a young American woman in the wake of a divorce; wry and shy but never less than open to the world, she recalls the places and people she has been close to, the dreams she has pursued and those she has left unfulfilled. Interspersed with these intimate first-person stories are stand-alone pieces where the tight focus on the narrator's life gives way to closely observed accounts of the lives of others. A book about belonging, and how much of yourself to give up in the pursuit of that, Cities I've Never Lived In offers stories that reveal, with great sadness and great humor, the ways we are most of all citizens of the places where we cannot be.

Cities I've Never Lived In is the second book in Graywolf's collaboration with the literary magazine A Public Space.

About the Author

Sara Majka's stories have appeared in A Public Space, PEN America, The Gettysburg Review, and Guernica. A former fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she lives in Queens, New York.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977313
ISBN-10: 1555977316
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
Pages: 192
Language: English


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