For fans of HBO's Girls, Abigail Ulman's heartbreakingly tender and often darkly funny fiction is a fresh take on the experiences of contemporary young women.
Claire is magnetic. On the cusp of adulthood and letting go of her adolescence one miserable responsibility at a time, she's moved from London to San Francisco to work toward her PhD and minor in cheap whiskey, pour-over coffee, and guys who can't be bothered to shower. When she finds out she's pregnant by a heartsick ex-boyfriend, the solution seems clear, if only to her.
Kira is a talented 13-year-old Russian gymnast who leaves her traditional family to travel to America.
Elise and Jenni, two Australian high school students, seek asylum from the hooking up and heavy drinking they've been doing for years by reenrolling in their childhood summer camp.
Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, Hot Little Hands introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind.
Abigail Ulman's voice feels of the moment - sharp and powerful - as she deftly explores ageless themes of sex and maturity among girls who are both confident and frighteningly exposed.
"It is rare for a collection to so adeptly capture the way life can be at once facile and intense." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The stories are beautifully paced, the dialogue perfect. There is a lovely comedy underpinning the cool tone. Often this becomes hilarious, but it is also controlled and well-judged. Abigail Ulman knows how to write a story, manage a buildup, hold your attention, suggest that somehow nothing much is happening while, in fact, everything is going on. I love how up-to-the-minute and streetwise the stories are, and how frank about sex and girls. Also, the ones set in San Francisco, filled with coffee shops and bars and bicycles and vegetarians and girls on the rampage (not to speak of guys), are brilliantly observed. This is a book I think girls will relish, guys might not like so much but they will need to read in order to know what girls are really thinking about." (Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn)
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