Objects of Desire: Stories


Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Knopf Publishing Group
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 1.0 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

CLARE SESTANOVICH, named a "5 Under 35" honoree by the National Book Foundation in 2022, is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, The Drift, and Electric Literature. Objects of Desire, a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, is her first collection. She lives in Brooklyn.


"A debut story collection of the rarest kind: One in which you wish that every single entry could be an entire novel.
Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly

"Sparingly told, evoked with lacerating intimacy, these stories explode across the fault lines of the small decisions that make a life ... Extraordinary."

"Smart and accomplished . . . Sestanovich's prose is poised and understated, sensorily precise . . . [Her characters] are wryly astute in their assessments of others; it is a pleasure to see the world through their sharp eyes. Sestanovich's gift is to make ordinary moments shine brightly."
--Kirstin Valdez Quade, The New York Times Book Review

"Luminous... Sestanovich writes with a kind of bracing cold-plunge clarity. Objects of Desire taps into the peculiar, primal struggle of becoming who you are, and all the stories you have to tell yourself to get there. Grade: A"
--Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

"A fun read [that] reminds us that we're all human."
--Kaia Gerber, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

Objects of Desire is one of those rare collections that is both deeply emotional and affecting and also just so much fun to read. Clare Sestanovich writes a sentence sharp enough to cut yourself on. A magnificent debut.
--Nathan Englander, author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth

"Objects of Desire reminds me of the soulful stories that emerged in mid-century America, the heyday for the form. Each one is bursting with small, explosive moments, like fireworks illuminating the bareness of the protagonists' lives . . . Sestanovich is a skilled craftswoman, each sentence a carefully positioned tile in a mosaic."

"Nuanced, beautifully shaped ... In Sestanovich's hands, the mundane feels surprising--mesmerizing, even."

"These stories offer a master class in capturing the complexities of everyday 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

"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."
--Brandon Taylor, author of Filthy Animals and Real Life

"Sestanovich's elegant prose takes seriously the quiet unrest that can ravage a life, and makes room for the pleasure and discovery that can be found in that ruin."
--Raven Leilani, author of Luster

"These stories are wickedly perceptive--Sestanovich precisely measures the distance between how people think of themselves and how the world reads them. A mesmerizing, exquisite debut."
--Dana Spiotta, author of Wayward

"Objects of Desire is a marvel. With pointillist precision, Clare Sestanovich captures the apparently inconsequential decisions on which a life turns: the phone call made or ignored; the email replied to or archived; the invitation accepted or declined. Her observation of ordinary moments is transformative--I loved this book."
--Miranda Popkey, author of Topics of Conversation

"Sestanovich's debut collection demonstrates a gift for pithy detail [and] a high command of craft. [Her] observations...give way to poignant insights into the characters' psyches. Objects of Desire finds cohesion around the quiet angst of narrators who long for experiences, other people, and states of being just beyond their grasp... Intelligent, technically accomplished stories."
--Publishers Weekly