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Editorial Reviews

First and foremost, The New Yorker is about great writing, from "The Talk of the Town" to "Shouts & Murmurs" to the magazine's stable of critics. And then there are the jewels of short fiction. The New Yorker has a legendary ear for fiction, and an uncanny ability to uncover provocative new voices.

This collection features three writers-on-the-verge, each drawing from a different vocabulary and set of life experiences. Yet what will become clear as you listen is that these three diverse stories have a connection: each revolves around children. A 12-year-old prostitute in Kenya; a pair of brothers whose grief is palpable; a teenaged boy in a risky relationship.

Publisher's Summary

The New Yorker's special Debut Fiction collection features three very different stories by writers who have yet to publish a book:
  • "An Ex-Mas Feast" by Uwem Akpan: The day-to-day struggles and conflicts of a street family in Nairobi, dependent on the money their 12-year-old daughter brings in as a prostitute.
  • "Haunting Olivia" by Karen Russell: A tale of two brothers searching the water for their dead sister.
  • "The Laser Age" by Justin Tussing: A teenager's evolving relationships with a mysterious drifter - and his female teacher.

    Our thanks to Dr. Robert Leonard, a professor of linguistics at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who provided invaluable assistance with the Swahili pronunciations in "An Ex-Mas Feast".

  • Want to listen to previous editions of The New Yorker? You can find past issues by clicking on archives under periodicals.

    Also, listen to audio from The New Yorker Festival readings and panel discussions, recorded live in New York City.

    (P) and ©2005 The New Yorker

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    • Katurah
    • Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • 12-13-05

    Very real.....but

    All three stories I thought were very descriptive and real. Everyone can relate in one way or another. But, I strongly feel that the profanity in these books was very unnecessary and it had me cringing every time a word was uttered. Maybe this is something that could be considered or taken into account for future debut fiction. Even with this one downfall, this is a great way to introduce up and coming authors.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful