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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the “enthralling” (New York Times Book Review) and “beautiful” (Washington Post) debut novel The Vexations comes an exciting new story collection that is “perfect for fans of George Saunders and Karen Russell” (Booklist), moving boldly between the real and the surreal.

Following her “marvelous” (Wall Street Journal) first novel, Caitlin Horrocks returns with a much-anticipated collection of short stories. In her signature, genre-defying style, she explodes our notions of what a story can do and where it can take us. 

Life Among the Terranauts demonstrates all the inventiveness that won admirers for Horrocks’ first collection. In “The Sleep”, reprinted in Best American Short Stories, residents of a town in the frigid Midwest decide to hibernate through the bitter winters. In the title story, half a dozen people move into an experimental biodome for a shot at a million dollars, if they can survive two years. And in “Sun City”, published in The New Yorker, a young woman meets her grandmother’s roommate in the wake of her death and attempts to solve the mystery of whether the two women were lovers.

As the Boston Globe noted of her first collection, Horrocks is a master of “wild yet delicately handled satire”, a “sprightly heartbreak” in which she is able to “mingle a note of tenderness in the desolation.” With its startling range - from Norwegian trolls to Peruvian tour guides - Life Among the Terranauts once again dazzles listeners, cementing Horrocks’ reputation as one of the premier young writers of our time.

©2021 Caitlin Horrocks (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

“Vigorous and supremely crafted, Horrocks’ second collection explores human frailties, desires, and mechanisms for survival.... Horrocks’ linguistic finesse and narrative range is impressive, and she brings incisive humor, pathos, and wit to her characters and their predicaments. The result is an immersive and engaging work that astutely captures the complexities of the human condition.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Perfect for fans of George Saunders and Karen Russell...This dazzling collection of short stories will be pinging around the minds of readers long after the back cover is closed.... Horrocks nails the short format by building easy-to-enter and hard-to-forget worlds.... Each story is as engrossing as if it were a full-length novel, and just as sad to leave.”(Courtney Eathorne, Booklist)

“Elegant glimpses into the lives of lonely people.... A writer known for her impeccable craft...Horrocks’ stories feel classic and melancholy, like a concerto in a minor key.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Life Among the Terranauts

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