Objects of Desire
Named a 'Most Anticipated Book of 2021' by Lit Hub and The Millions
'Astonishing - one of the best story collections I’ve read in a long time . . . Clare Sestanovich is stylish and skilled, an astute chronicler of contemporary life' - Brandon Taylor, Booker-shortlisted author of Real Life
A college freshman, flying home, strikes up an odd, ephemeral friendship with the couple next to her on the airplane. A long-lost stepbrother's visit to New York prompts a reckoning with a family's old taboos. An office worker, exhausted by the ambitions of the men around her, emerges into the gridlocked city one afternoon to make a decision. A wife, looking at her husband's passwords neatly posted on the wall, realizes there are no secrets left in their marriage.
In these stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women's lives - from the brink of adulthood, to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse. With powerful observation and mordant humor, Clare Sestanovich opens up a fictional world where intimate and uncomfortable truths lie hidden in plain sight.
Objects of Desire is a book pulsing with subtle drama, rich with unforgettable scenes and alive with moments of recognition, each more startling than the last--a spellbinding, brilliant debut.
In the media
Astonishing - one of the best story collections I’ve read in a long time. The stories in Objects of Desire are subtle and sophisticated, written with sensitive lucidity and warmth; their emotional effects are brought about naturally, almost indirectly, and one leaves each of the stories feeling a little homesick. I feel like I've found a new favorite writer - Clare Sestanovich is stylish and skilled, an astute chronicler of contemporary life
Brandon Taylor, Booker-shortlisted author of Real Life
Clare Sestanovich’s stories compelled me like gravity, and offered sharp, surprising, singular bursts of grace. Her characters are observed with wry, prism-gazed tenderness; sketched deftly and persuasively with just a few perfect strokes. The details go off like bombs. These stories know strange, important truths about what it feels like to be alive
Leslie Jamison, author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams