"In this story, it's a newlywed couple on their honeymoon in the Carpathian foothills in Romania, circa 1974, who are already going in very different directions. But this isn't just some 'closely observed' presentation of a marriage scuttled before it's even launched. Shipstead can and does aim higher, for she's a hugely talented young writer—her debut novel Seating Arrangements is positively Updikeian in its arch, all-knowing vision and beautiful, effortless-seeming prose—and her gifts of empathic imagination are on full display here, offering us a crystalline x-ray into the lives of two people who may have never loved one another and are clearly headed for trouble."
About the author:
Maggie Shipstead is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford. Seating Arrangements, her first novel, won the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in many publications including Tin House, VQR, American Short Fiction, and The Best American Short Stories. Her second novel, Astonish Me, comes out in April.
You can read her story, "Angel Lust," also in Recommended Reading.
About the Guest Editor:
Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, A Gesture Life, Aloft, and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Selected by The New Yorker as one of the “20 Writers for the 21st Century,” Lee is professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and a Shinhan Distinguished Visiting Professor at Yonsei University.His new novel, On Such a Full Sea, is available now.
About the Publisher:
Electric Literature is an independent publisher working to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture. Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, invites established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommended great fiction. Once a month we feature our own recommendation of original, previously unpublished fiction, accompanied by a Single Sentence Animation. Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations: the author chooses a favorite sentence and we commission an artist to interpret it. Stay connected with us through email, Facebook, and Twitter, and find previous Electric Literature picks in the Recommended Reading archives.
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