|(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
The provocative, lyrical, and wonderfully introverted stories in Leopoldine Core’s debut story collection, WHEN WATCHED (Penguin Paperback Original; ISBN: 9780143128694; On-sale: August 9; $16.00), possess something permanent at their heart. Chronicling characters of all stripes and sexual orientation, Core, a 2015 Whiting Award winner and author of the poetry collection Veronica Bench, has delivered a wise and deeply intimate collection, one that bravely tunnels straight to the center of human suffering and longing. In Core, the quiet, the strange, the cast-aside have found their literary chronicler.
In these domestic yet almost otherworldly stories set in and around New York City, you never know where you might end up. Populated by sex workers, artists, and recovering addicts, lovers, friends, and nontraditional families, Core’s wholly realized characters are endlessly striving to understand each other. 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. Battling and balancing their innermost thoughts and fears with greater forces out of their control—a cross country road trip ending in a crash, a child imagining her own kidnapping, a hallucination of George Harrison—the characters in WHEN WATCHED absorb the world around them—its quiet reverberations, its dark contours, the imperceptible yet transformative moments.
Short stories are my jam! I am seriously getting hooked on these amazing little ditties that pack such a powerful punch in such a short amount of pages. They are simply the BEST. Not only do they make dipping in and out of a book easy-peasy, but they have you constantly craving more. Leopoldine Core's debut collection of shorts, When Watched, is the perfect example of what I am talking about. It is chock full of dark, raw, complicated, and fascinating stories. They are all so damn good, that I couldn't help but fall in love with each one. The way she writes about relationships and people's emotional and inner struggles is just fantastic. She's direct and to the point in her language and I found her exploration of issues to be honest and real. My two most favorite stories from the collection are: Orphans and The Trip. Talk about short stories at their best!!
I absolutely loved reading When Watched. It was a mix of quirky, relatable, and unputdownable stories that I won't soon forget. I would happily recommend this book to fans of the short story and anyone looking for something great to read next - you will not want to miss out When Watched!!
GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the publisher I'm able to give away three (3) copies of this book! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave me a comment telling me the name of your favorite collection of short stories. Don't forget to include your email address, so that I can contact you in case you win the giveaway. Last date to enter is August 10th! Open to US residents only. Good Luck!!