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American Innovations A wickedly smart and deeply emotional collection of imaginative storiesIn one of the intensely imaginative stories in Rivka s Galchen s American Innovations, a narrator s furniture walks out on her In another, the narrator feels compelled to promise to deliver a takeout order that has incorrectly been phoned in to her In a third, the petty details around a property transaction detail the complicated pains and loves of a familyhe stories in this unusual collection also have secret lives in conversation with earlier stories As in the tradition of considering Wallace Stevens s Anecdote of the Jar as a response to John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn, Galchen s The Lost Order covertly recapitulates James Thurber s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, while The Region of Unlikeness is a smoky and playful mirror to Jorge Luis Borges s The Aleph The title story, American Innovations, reimagines Nikolai Gogol s The Nose Alternately realistic, fantastical, witty, and lyrical, these are all deeply emotional tales, written in exuberant, pitch perfect prose and shadowed by the darkly marvelous and the marvelously uneasy Whether exploring the tensions in a mother daughter relationship or the finer points of time travel, Galchen takes great risks, proving that she is a writer like none other today

10 thoughts on “American Innovations

  1. says:

    The likelihood that I will enjoy a writer who writes with a tangible for some obscure reason etched into every utterance is slim What are we to do with all those connections in our lives that, you know, bind us a

  2. says:

    Before reading American Innovations I hadn t seen the cover blurb that states The tales in this groundbreaking collection are secretly in conversation with canonical stories, reimagined from the perspective of fem

  3. says:

    Galchen s stories are not satisfying in the way short stories are usually satisfying These stories are not tidy, they twist in the middle, heading in a different direction and then flutter out at the end But I foun

  4. says:

    Galchen made all kinds of big splash with her first novel in 2008, Atmospheric Disturbances So readers have been waiting impatiently for a new book this is of short stories, and they are international, sciencey in t

  5. says:

    DNF I really struggled to get through the first 4 stories in this book And then I gave up I closed the book, with a good, clear conscience, and put it away This is the first book in a long, long, LONG time that I did

  6. says:

    You know what I m tired of this whole style I don t know what to call it, even Talented female writers whose characters I can t stand, who seem to be made of nothing but self obsessive neurosis I ll just go back and r

  7. says:

    Many of my reviews here are off the cuff riffs that inform reviews that I write for other publications, namely The Floating Library, my books column for San Diego CityBeat Sometimes the review I post here is a cut and

  8. says:

    I think I m suffering from Gregory Maguire Syndrome with Rivka Galchen I m just not I just don t I can t seem to The stories and the writing are strange and gorgeous, like odd colourful exciting flowers that you see at

  9. says:

    This story collection is wonderfully witty and melancholy, ormelancholy than witty, filled with innuendoes that at times I couldn t understand, being originally not from America, but sensed on some other level On a unive

  10. says:

    I m glad I ve gotten to a place where I can support other Rivkas in their creative endeavors How sad it would have been if my exceedingly silly ego prevented me from reading this collection It was so good Chekhovian in so

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