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Stony Brook Southampton MFAs

5 Books | by Judah Reese Mahay

Please See Us

Please See Us

Books

Winner of the 2021 Edgar Award for Best First Novel In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Megan Miranda, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there. Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face. If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims? A “beautifully written, thoughtful page-turner” (Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists), Please See Us is an evocative and compelling psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.

The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War

The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War

Books

A decade has passed since boots first hit the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the war has not ended—only changed. Twenty-five diverse veteran voices reflect the changing face of combat and reflect the haunting realities and truths only fiction can reveal. These masterfully crafted stories from writers who have served reflect the entire breadth of human emotion—loss, anger, joy, love, fear, and courage—and the evolving nature of what has become America’s “Forever War.” From debut writers to experienced contributors whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker, this exceptional collection promises to be the definitive fictional look at the aftereffects of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and will resonate with the reader long after the final page. Including stories by: Elliot Ackerman, Benjamin Busch, Brandon Caro, Maurice Decaul, Teresa Fazio, Thomas Gibbons Neff, Aaron Gwyn, Alex Horton, Matt Robinson, Kristen L. Rouse, Chris Wolfe, Kayla M. Williams, Brandon Willitts, and many others.

The Mostly True Memoirs of a Witch

The Mostly True Memoirs of a Witch

Books

King serves modern queer magic in these cabalistic poems of family, curses, sex, love and being out in the Heart of America. The Mostly True Memoirs of a Witch brings witchy disco lovestruck poems brimming with mythical imagery to the page with startling and original imagery.

The Mythic Koda Rose

The Mythic Koda Rose

Books

In the spirit of Nina LaCour and Adam Silvera, this offbeat and romantic debut novel follows a teen girl whose desire to find out more about her late rock star father brings her closer to the last person she expected.Everything Koda Rose knows about her father she’s learned from other people. Moving to New York City with her mom won’t change that, even if New York was Mack Grady’s city—where he became famous, where he wrote his music, and also where he died. Koda has more important things on her mind. Like how she’s in love with her best friend, Lindsay, and doesn’t have the courage to tell her. Agonizing over how to confess her feelings leads Koda to explore Mack’s enigmatic history in search of answers. She tracks down her dad’s band mate and ex-girlfriend, Sadie Pasquale, and finds herself becoming rapidly obsessed with the mercurial musician. As Koda and Sadie’s complicated bond deepens, they are both forced to grapple with the black hole Mack left behind, or get sucked in themselves.

Inconvenient Daughter

Inconvenient Daughter

Books

"In Sharkey's stirring...debut, a transracial adoptee of Korean descent endures a crisis of identity...Sharkey achieves a moving account of Rowan's difficult reckoning with her identity. This is an adept portrayal of the long shadow of abuse and the difficulty of being an adoptee." --Publishers Weekly "This debut novel vividly details the awkwardness of high school and heartbreak of rejection. Rowan's first-person narrative voice provides sharp, devastating emotional insight." --Kirkus Reviews Included in The Rumpus's What to Read When You Want to Celebrate Women's History "Lauren J. Sharkey's masterfully plotted portrait of Rowan, a smart and willful young woman in wild rebellion against the life she's been handed, is so raw and honest, written with such passion and heart, you turn the pages rooting for her to love herself as much as the reader and her indomitable adopted mother do. Inconvenient Daughter delivers this and so much more." --Beverly Donofrio, author of Astonished: A Story of Healing and Finding Grace "Lauren J. Sharkey's emotionally searing novel chronicles its heroine's quest to forge her true self. Deeply felt and intensely written, Inconvenient Daughter speaks to the need we all have to find our place in the world, our place of belonging and acceptance. This is a powerful and stunning literary debut." --Sue William Silverman, author of Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction "Steel, raw love, and rage forge the relationships between Rowan Kelly and her family. Inconvenient Daughter illuminates with cutting truth the layers of longing and grief which underlie a transracial adoption. Author Lauren J. Sharkey shines a light on how the truth of being loved and belonging can transcend the construct of biology. Sharkey provides heart-rending insight that never dips into false sentimentality, wrapped in a sharply written, intense, and page-turning novel. I simply loved this book." --Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Waisted "Rare is the book willing to confess how essential belonging is, to detail the myriad ways we both seek it and suffer from its absence. Readers will discover in Sharkey's prose a truth few authors have the honesty to acknowledge or the courage to reveal." --Kevin Clouther, author of We Were Flying to Chicago Rowan Kelly knows she's lucky. After all, if she hadn't been adopted, she could have spent her days in a rice paddy, or a windowless warehouse assembling iPhones--they make iPhones in Korea, right? Either way, slowly dying of boredom on Long Island is surely better than the alternative. But as she matures, she realizes that she'll never know if she has her mother's eyes, or if she'd be in America at all had her adoptive parents been able to conceive. Rowan sets out to prove that she can be someone's first choice. After running away from home--and her parents' rules--and ending up beaten, barefoot, and topless on a Pennsylvania street courtesy of Bad Boy Number One, Rowan attaches herself to Never-Going-to-Commit. When that doesn't work out, she fully abandons self-respect and begins browsing Craigslist personals. But as Rowan dives deeper into the world of casual encounters with strangers, she discovers what she's really looking for. With a fresh voice and a quick wit, Lauren J. Sharkey dispels the myths surrounding transracial adoption, the ties that bind, and what it means to belong.

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