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book cover of The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street

The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street

A collection of stories by

"To read [Jacob Appel] is to be schooled in his unique and refreshing brand of literary mastery. Appel is at the top of his game in The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street, his delightfully quirky, ever smart, funny, and moving new collection. In these eight keenly observed stories, Appel's endearing if flawed characters find themselves in the throes of tough choices where there are no easy answers. Circumstances may skew absurd . . . but Appel's humanity is real and unwavering, particularly in matters of the heart. Crackling with detail and bursting with irresistible tidbits ranging from medicine to bioethics to property law, Appel's stories seamlessly draw from his deep well of knowledge to deliver a result not only worthy of study, but that will make your belly ache with laughter." - Sara Lippmann, author of Doll Palace

"No one gets off scot-free in these arresting Jacob Appel stories, which blaze with a relentless forward momentum. And, yet - as Appel's underlying concern is kindness and connection - these eclectic, flawed, and deeply funny characters seem somehow to always find a way to make their stand. We can't help but root for them." - Josh Rolnick, author of Pulp and Paper

"Jacob Appel's wonderful stories crystallize the moments in life that make us doubt everything we thought was true about our loves, fears, and regrets." - Dallas Hudgens, author of Wake Up, We're Here and Drive Like Hell

"Appel is a master of the dilemma, and each of these stories hooks the reader with a stunner. But the seemingly absurd - a mail-order house delivered to the wrong address, an uncle promising to show his two nephews the true edge of the world - soon gives way to dark, harsh truths for Appel's characters. None of the answers are easy, and that makes these stories a rich, satisfying read." - Ben Stroud, author of Byzantium

"There is no one in American letters quite like Jacob Appel. His wise tales remind me of some of John Cheever's short stories, but only if those stories had been reimagined through the dreamy vision of Mark Helprin and then improved with a twenty-first century sensibility. The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street is by turns strange, familiar, funny, and philosophically engaged, and never for a moment disappointing." - Hugh Sheehy, author of The Invisibles
"Appel really does it all. The sentences are gem-like, the wit is sly and charming, and the insights are deeply human." - Seth Fried, author of The Great Frustration
"Jacob Appel's points of entry in these stories are humble - the body's frailties, the perils of aging, the collisions of everyday desire, the quirks of identity in the age of Wikipedia - but his stories continually plunge us past 'the edge of the earth' and into the rich, roiling magma of the human condition. Like Nathan Englander, he is drawn not only to a great story but an ongoing confrontation with moral quandary, all delivered with wit, panache, and a profound, abiding humanism." - Tim Horvath, author of Understories


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Paperback Editions

November 2016 : Paperback

Title: The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street
Author(s): Jacob M Appel
ISBN: 0-9961952-1-1 / 978-0-9961952-1-8
Publisher: Howling Bird Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

May 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street (Howling Bird Press Fiction Prize Book 2016)
Author(s): Jacob M Appel
Publisher: Howling Bird Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA