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A Selfie as Big as the Ritz: Stories Hardcover – October 31, 2017
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“Lara Williams makes a bold debut with this razor-sharp, magnificently humane story collection. A Selfie as Big as the Ritz explores women as they navigate the rocky terrain between early 20s and middle age, piecing together a collage of persistent quests for joy, love, and meaning.”
“If you’re a young woman navigating life’s crazy and wondrous tumult, British writer Lara Williams’ new story collection A Selfie as Big as the Ritz is for you.”
“A fashionable fever dream where you recognize everyone but also find them fabulously surreal. There is a story in this book for every occasion, every emotion, every hang-up. It’s that kind of short fiction where you secretly wish each story was its own novel.”
“The stories are quick enough that you could either read them on a quick subway commute, or eat through them all in one night, and they definitely bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions.”
―New York Magazine, The Cut ("15 Great Books by Women We Read This Year")
“Dazzlingly romantic and darkly comic stories about young women trying to navigate an often unfriendly world and construct identities and lives for themselves…Must-read.”
“In this debut collection of short stories, Williams unfurls women’s stories across various eras of life. At first their connectedness is unclear. But read them all, then step back, and a portrait will emerge, like a Monet painting for the page.”
“Must-read…Winning this week’s award for best title, A Selfie as Big as the Ritz is a bold short-story collection that finds women navigating everything: love, work, life in general from their early 20s to middle age.”
―New York Post
“Filled with humor and lots of heart, the stories in this collection explore that crazy, predictably unpredictable, angst-ridden time of life between a woman's early twenties and middle age: you know, those years when we figured we'd have things all together by now, but really, we're only just getting started.”
“Williams explores young women’s lives, navigating singledom, couplehood, breakups, unexpected pregnancies, sexual fetishes, bad dates, and other shoals of contemporary adulthood. This ‘Selfie’ sparkles.”
“When you can collide F. Scott Fitzgerald and pop culture so seamlessly in a title, you can bet the stories within will be good.”
“From the language to the characters, Williams’ stories brim with punchy elegance and humor. Here is a confident writer with an irresistible voice.”
―Weike Wang, author of Chemistry
“Maybe you meet someone. Maybe you fall in love. Maybe you break up. Maybe someone writes a book about your life. This is that book. Brilliant stories; awesome debut.”
―Nicholas Royle, editor of Best British Short Stories 2015
“A Selfie as Big as the Ritz is accurately named―it has the sophistication and latent romanticism of Fitzgerald's best short stories. Lara Williams has a quick wit, an empathetic ear, and a devastating eye for detail―I will never look at diabetic chocolates quite the same way. This book is brilliant.”
―Rebecca Harrington, author of Penelope
“A dark wonder. An often harrowing (and in parts, very, very funny) debut, it targets the unfathomable nonsense of relationships, work and modern living with a keen eye, head-spinning wordplay and enough compassion to crush your heart. Buy it for everyone you know.”
“What a wonderful collection. Very smart and VERY funny. A stunning mix of measured wisdom and raw emotion.”
―Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals
“Deeply personal…Pointillistically composed...Williams can limn huge swaths of a character’s life in a handful of pages by zeroing in on details that communicate everything about everything, all in an instant.”
“Inventive…Recalling Lorrie Moore at her most concise.”
"Williams has a firm grasp of the relatable and the universal...A cleverly written, bracing, and so-readable navigation of modern matters of the heart.”
“A glorious collection of linked stories about 20s something life in the 21st century that casts a sharp yet compassionate eye over falling in love, breaking up, friendship, and work. [A Selfie as Big as the Ritz] is Williams’ first book and I can’t wait for her to write another.”
“Remarkable…Evocative…The author laces the narrative with tangible, almost Instagram-able details that hint at her characters’ deepest desires…With hints of Noah Baumbach’s youthful existentialism and shades of Janice Galloway’s visceral prose, Lara Williams is one to watch.”
“Seriously impressive…Reminded me of something Katherine Mansfield might have written, if she lived in a world with iPhones.”
About the Author
- ASIN : 1250126622
- Publisher : Flatiron Books (October 31, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781250126627
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250126627
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.8 x 7.43 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A Selfie As Big As The Ritz by Lara Williams was sent to me by Flatiron Books in exchange for a honest review. I'm so grateful! I had read a few reviews on my own regarding Williams' writing and was excited to see for myself why everyone was loving it.
Some of the stories in this collection are just so beautiful, in an unassuming sneak up on you kind of way. I would turn a page, realizing it was the last and promptly start back at the beginning, letting Williams' words wash over me. I needed that second reading to really sink my teeth into the writing, some of it was so emotionally driven and real. Other parts just really funny and clever.
One of the stories, the very first one to be exact, It Begins, is so powerful. The final paragraph, the character sinking her hands into the earth, so simple but just right. I love a story that is more just a vignette, a camera shot, a group of stills that culminate a character's life. If an author can pull that off successfully in a few pages, gosh. I knew after reading It Begins that my opinion of this collection of stories being something I could read during pickup or at the doctor's office was incorrect. I needed quiet and solitude so I could reflect after each one.
This Small Written Thing was another powerful story for me, one that read almost like poetry? Or maybe the emotion was so well written that I was really able to just immerse myself and feel for Flora, the words carrying me along until I was able to picture myself climbing into that bed at the end. This sentence, "The performance of love and the fire of it; an endless negotiation; a series of audience asides, of controlled explosions." Wow.
I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this book of stories. I know if I had read this ten years ago, at age 23, I would've had a completely different experience. That certain stories would have affected me differently, others would have left me wondering. I'm' so glad I had the opportunity to read this now, almost ten years into my marriage and at a point in life that allowed so many of these stories to move me emotionally. Well done, Lara Williams! And thank you again Flatiron Books for the copy!
Lara Williams geniously exposes the soft white underbelly of real women in today's real relationships - warts and all. I gave this four stars because to me a few of the stories felt like add-ons, breaking the rhythm of the power of this book. A Selfie as Big as the Ritz may be a bit uncomfortable for some, but those who do read it will be deeply affected by at least one of the stories.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4! Thank you to the publisher for the free advance copy. All opinions are my own.
I received a free ARC by the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.