Hoist House: A Novella & Stories
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About the Author
"Thank you, Jenny Robertson for these ecstatic explorations of our dark Midwestern hearts: the paranoiacs, the criminals, small town kids yearning for trouble, and for good measure, the romantic betrayal of a circus clown. These comedies and tragedies are sweaty and fragrant, brimming with energy, and the language is exuberant, whether in the bar with Toad Bear, night skating with the family on thin ice, or going deep into the mines. And all through these stories, sex simmers just below the surface."
-Bonnie Jo Campbell
National Book Award Finalist
author of American Salvage and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
"The stories of Hoist House open on strikingly different scenes with a unique and varied cast of characters-a dominatrix, a storm chaser, a trio of middle-aged friends, a Finnish family settled in a Minnesota mining town-but all their lives are constrained, on the verge of caving in, of toppling over. Flawed and gorgeous, they all struggle to emerge. Robertson is so in tune with their wants, needs, and fears as individuals, but also how each character plays against each other in the dynamics of a small town, a family, a friend group, or a couple. Beautiful and shattering, these stories cut deep grooves into my memory, and in the end, I'm left with young Sadie's flush-faced feeling of skating on new ice: 'As if we were given just what we needed to survive and could find joy in the heat inside of us.'"
-Alexandra Lytton Regalado
author of Relinquenda
"I flat-out love this book. Jenny Robertson's stories evoke my favorite Midwestern writers: Jon Hassler, Joan Chase, and Jim Harrison-no-nonsense storytellers who lure you in with a sentence and then keep you rapt with prose as straight as an arrow aimed at your heart. Hoist House is everything you could possibly want in a debut."
author of The Fear of Everything and The Book of Ralph
"Jenny Robertson's Hoist House is beautifully written. . . . I read this collection from cover to cover in a single sitting, marveling at its dazzle and dance, how every next story took me deeper, and deeper into that human realm where hilarity and tears combine in a rare and lovely kind of magic."
author of Twenty Stories: New & Selected
"Jenny Robertson's Hoist House will thrill readers with an exciting new voice. . . . Her stories shine with a concision that is a lighthouse beam through the darkness of our human states."
author of As Long As I Know You
"Hoist House is an unforgettable collection of stories, a gritty and glittering panorama as graceful as it is riotously alive. Like the titular novella's Finnish immigrants descending the Minnesota mineshafts a century ago, Jenny Robertson's talents-the wit and elegance of her vision, and the sheer propulsive energy of her language-dig deep to excavate the vibrant souls of her characters and the outlandish American desire to break free and belong, all at once."
author of The Gimmicks and Desert Boys
"This fierce and fearless collection . . . is full of dangers and delights."
-Patricia Ann McNair
author of Responsible Adults
"Hoist House explores political and psychological history in the way that the best fiction accomplishes its goals--her prose reflects its immigrant characters as they move into the complications of our modern landscapes."
author of Twelve Rivers of the Body and Fallibility