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Chicago Tribune

New City

Booklist

Set in diverse locations, including Chicago, Georgia, and Florida, Wilson’s stories offer a series of snapshots of almost every moment of adult life, from high-school graduation to retirement. Set in the humdrum worlds of parks, offices, and family homes, each story turns on snap decisions by characters who are bored, restless, or scared. The opening story, “Welcome to Gorilla City,” initially focuses on a small act of graffiti but ends up enveloping topics of national relevance, namely, immigration and inherited wealth. Similarly, the seemingly amusing premise of a wife trying to catch her husband with a sex doll in “Trash Days” becomes a thoughtful exploration of love, marriage, and our obsession with image. The title story delicately captures the struggles of a couple after a miscarriage. In the final story, “Florida Power and Light,” a Kafkaesque twist demonstrates Wilson’s willingness to embrace the absurd. Like Lorrie Moore’s and Bobbie Ann Mason’s short fiction, Wilson’s stories display subtle humor and a deft ear for dialogue, making for a wonderfully varied and enjoyable debut collection.

— Alexander Moran

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Kirkus Reviews