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Laura van den Berg's picture

Laura van den Berg

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Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV. She is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conferences, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Laura van den Berg recommends
Under the Small Lights (2010)
John Cotter
"John Cotter's prose is lyric, his images unforgettable, his characters richly complicated. From the first sentence to the last, I was captivated by this story and the characters that call out to the reader with mystery and beauty and terror, like voices in the night. Under the Small Lights is a book to be savored, and John Cotter is an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction."
13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl (2016)
Mona Awad
"Hilarious and cutting...Mona Awad is a strikingly original and strikingly talented new voice."
Pull Me Under (2016)
Kelly Luce
"I could not stop turning the pages of Kelly Luce's hypnotic debut. Pull Me Under is a fierce and suspenseful exploration of the profoundly mysterious nature of identity, written with precise and spectacular beauty."
Things We Lost in the Fire (2017)
Mariana Enríquez
"When I read Mariana Enriquez's stories, I forget where I am. I miss my subway stop. I hold my breath. Her fiction is that pulse-racingly superb, that electric and original."
The Night Ocean (2017)
Paul La Farge
"An electric exploration of horror, obsession, madness, and mystery."
Daphne (2018)
Will Boast
"Richly meditative and quietly suspenseful, Daphne breathes fresh vigor into timeless questions about love and risk - the unknowable cost of fully opening one’s heart to another. Will Boast writes beautifully about life’s daily moral gambles, and Daphne is an outright marvelous debut."
Where the Dead Sit Talking (2018)
Brandon Hobson
"Where the Dead Sit Talking is a sensitive and searching exploration of a youth forged in turbulence, in the endless aftermath of displacement and loss. Sequoyah’s voice is powerfully singular—both wounded and wounding—and this novel is a thrilling confirmation of Brandon Hobson’s immense gifts on the page."
Bury What We Cannot Take (2018)
Kirstin Chen
"In Maoist China, the family at the center of this propulsive, haunting story is fractured by the dazzlingly complex fallout of a single irrevocable act. This beautifully plotted, suspenseful, and deeply compassionate novel shows Kirstin Chen, whose work I’ve long admired, at her absolute finest. Bury What We Cannot Take is a vital book."

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