The Involuntary Sojourner: Stories

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Product Details

Seven Stories Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.9 X 8.2 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author

S. P. Tenhoff's writing has appeared in Conjunctions, the Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, the Southern Review, the Antioch Review, Ninth Letter, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and elsewhere, and has been excerpted on He is a recipient of the Editor's Reprint Award and Columbia University's Bennett Cerf Memorial Prize for Fiction. His short fiction has been selected as a finalist for the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, among other awards. The Involuntary Sojourner was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize and the Autumn House Fiction Prize.


"Borges meets Saunders in Tenhoff's debut collection .... when humans and their contradictions take center stage, these stories soar and [Tenhoff's] insights deliver a visceral punch. Fantastic (and fantastical) work from a writer who appreciates that borders of all kinds are often just a fiction." --Kirkus Reviews

"S. P. Tenhoff possesses the enviable talent of blending complex narratives with effortless honesty. Intricate, thrilling, utterly absorbing fiction." --R. M. Cooper, Sequestrum

"The Involuntary Sojourner is a collection of the most empathic fiction. Tenhoff's stories span countries, societies, and stages of life, and in so doing, they give narrative and character to the slow, intricate entangling that we call living. Few authors could gather Japanese magicians, children of dystopic civilizations, callous daughters, and guilt-ridden American men into one short story collection, but Tenhoff's deftly woven work does so triumphantly. This collection is a tapestry of the human heart in all its complexity." --Lucie Shelly, Electric Literature

"The Involuntary Sojourner imagines the borders society has imposed upon itself and the struggles to overcome them: a regional boundary literally dividing a woman's house in two, a man longing for interaction with the father of the child he accidentally killed, a lonely dentist drawn to a new immigrant in spite of social taboo and mammoth language and cultural barriers, a self-important and respected showman in search of a successor astonished to find artistic camaraderie in an indigent disabled street performer. Tenhoff's spare, elegant prose and authentic immersions into unique communities (magicians, a family puppetry dynasty) catapult the reader into extraordinary worlds while maintaining in tender expression the universal desire for human connection." --Kia Corthron, author of The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter

"In ten short stories that stand out for their originality and range from empathetic portraits to satire, Tenhoff immerses the reader in a range of settings in Japan, the U.S., and elsewhere." --World Wide Work