What I Found Out About Her: Stories of Dreaming Americans, winner of the 2014 Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction, reaffirms Peter LaSalle’s reputation as one of the most startlingly original writers working in the short fiction genre today.
In this collection of eleven stories, LaSalle explores how everyday life for many—an FBI agent, a study-abroad student, a drug dealer’s chic girlfriend, a trio of Broadway playwrights, among others—can often take on something much larger than that, almost the texture of a haunting dream. Marked by stylistic daring and a rare lyricism in language, this is intense, thoroughly moving fiction that probes the contemporary American psyche, portraying it in all its frequently painful sadness and also its brave and unflagging hope.
“I’ve always believed that as a short story writer Peter LaSalle has been in the same class as Donald Barthelme and Joyce Carol Oates in the avant-garde of American fiction writers, and now, reading his new collection, What I Found Out About Her, I am more than confirmed in that belief: indeed, his sophisticated and highly controlled formal experimentation, which is the sparkling core of his style, now flows with such masterly ease that he can be said to be in a class of his own, at the forefront of American creators of original prose.” — Zulfikar Ghose, author of The Triple Mirror of the Self
“Peter LaSalle’s stories, set in wonderfully various settings—Buenos Aires, New York, Paris, Chicago—are rich in their delineation of our private lives and loves, and in those moments in which, by ourselves or with others, we live most deeply. These haunting tales are shrewdly original, disarmingly complex, and—always, always, since LaSalle is one of our finest storytellers—as beautifully crafted as they are memorable.” — Jay Neugeboren, author of You Are My Heart and Other Stories
“A beautiful collection of eleven stories focusing on love, loss and—as the subtitle suggests—dreams. LaSalle tends to focus on small events that paradoxically give life meaning—or at least cause his characters to question life’s meaning. . . . LaSalle’s stories are subtle, evocative, haunting—and brilliantly written.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“[T]his book . . . adds to Peter LaSalle’s merited reputation as a writer of powerful and innovative short fiction. LaSalle is a master—his writing is so intelligent and thoughtful, so smooth and fluent, its current so strong, and his characters so easy to care about, even to love, that one forgets to look for the stylistic sleights of hand so admired by academics and instead gets caught up in the lives of people who could easily be one’s best friend, lover, aunt—or oneself.” — Foreword Reviews
“Each story is told with clear, conscious prose. The sentences are strong, the words are all in the right order, and the details are clever…It becomes clear that Peter LaSalle might just be a master technician of story craft.” — American Book Review