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Smart, contemporary and razor-sharp: a first collection of short stories from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Eligible and American Wife.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 SUNDAY TIMES EFG SHORT STORY AWARD: 'Do-Over', one of the stories in this dazzling, smart and razor-sharp first collection by Curtis Sittenfeld, Sunday Times bestselling author of Eligible and American Wife.

In ‘The World Has Many Butterflies’, a married woman flirts with a man she meets at parties by playing You think it, I’ll say it, putting into words the bitchy things she guesses he's thinking about their fellow guests. But she is in for a shock when, in time, she finds out what was really in his mind. ‘The Nominee’ sees Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, confessing her surprising true feelings about a woman journalist she has sparred with over the years. In ‘Gender Studies’, a visiting academic sleeps with her taxi driver, for what turns out to be all the wrong reasons.

The theme that unites these stories is how even the cleverest people tend to misread others, and how much we all deceive ourselves. Sharp and tender, funny and wise, they show Sittenfeld’s knack for creating real, believable characters that spring off the page, while also skewering contemporary mores with brilliant dry wit.

Reviews

Each of these stories could be expanded into a blockbusting novel. There is no writer alive who inhabits her characters so knowingly, or is able to send up contemporary attitudes and mores as expertly...clever, funny, revealing and a joy to read.

Evening Standard

Nobody else writes with such precision and amusement about the absolute inability of men and women to understand each other...this collection is all killer no filler.

Red

A strong collection about false assumptions and double standards...in these 11 social comedies, whose preoccupations - gender dynamics, celebrity, class, envy and disenchantment - are at once universal and yet specific to the moment we are living through...You Think It, I'll Say It has caught the attention of Reese Witherspoon, who plans to turn it into a comedy series starring Kristen Wiig. Smart move.

The Times

Fans...won't be disappointed: the tales here condense lifetimes of confusion, betrayal and bad decisions into perfect miniatures in deadpan American prose.

Guardian

The stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It feel so contemporary that we might worry they will date – except we’ll want a record of these times. We may be grateful for authors who chose to set their work in this exact political moment, when few Americans can maintain personal relationships across the Trump divide...The immediacy of these stories makes them effortlessly enjoyable to slide into, like new garments so comfortable that you decide to wear them out of the shop.

Lionel Shriver, Financial Times

Has a rare and magical combination of accessibility, wit, and serious thinking. Sittenfeld was shortlisted for this year's Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, and she demonstrates these qualities again in this deft short story collection... Impossible to put down...She is saying what we are thinking.

Sunday Times

Clear-eyed and compulsive...Sittenfeld skewers what fraudsters we can be to ourselves and creates characters so vivid you half-expect to bump into them in the street.

Mail on Sunday

This seems to be the year of the short story, and the best ones we've read so far are by Curtis Sittenfeld...an outstanding collection of funny, smart and pin-sharp takes on life.

Good Housekeeping

Say the words "Curtis Sittenfeld" to a certain reading demographic and you'll kick off evangelistic levels of enthusiasm. But it's for good reason, as no one nails understated humour with human behaviour as she does. This collection of short stories doesn't disappoint, uniting would-be presidential candidates with Insta-stalking mothers.

Stylist

A total treat. Savvy and ruefully wise, she burrows beneath the shiny surface of ...her disillusioned lovers, vaguely unhappy parents and dissatisfied employees [who] misjudge other people while in the grip of laughable, delicious self-delusion.

Daily Mail

Often praised for her psychological and social acuity, Sittenfeld is also a careful plotter, withholding facts and details until they are surprising enough to change the way we read a story, and to make us question our own expectations and values...there's no one better than her at showing how the personal is political.

New Statesman

A collection of wry, psychologically astute portraits of stymied humans, characters with whom Sittenfeld commiserates even as they are skewered by her dry and languorous wit.

Literary Review

Psychologically acute, deftly crafted and deeply pleasurable.

San Francisco Chronicle

Every page of this book as engaging as the next.

Independent

OK, I’ll say it: I get a kick out of Curtis Sittenfeld...a sharp observer of human nature and human relationships — especially the male/female variety — and she’s a hoot, an appealing combination in my book...a lot of fun, even when it makes you wince.

USA Today

As smart, sparkling and ruefully wise as her novels.

Sunday Express

A vivid cast of women caught up in knotty social dilemmas.

Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780857525383

    May 15, 2018

    Doubleday

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780857525390

    April 30, 2018

    Doubleday

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473552623

    May 3, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Extract

The Nominee

The journalist was born in 1964, which is to say she’s seventeen years younger than I am. She has, starting in 1992, interviewed me several dozen times—she was at The San Francisco Chronicle when I met her, then moved to The Washington Post, and for the last eight years has been at The New York Times—and while we aren’t friends, she reminds me of a neighbor or cousin; we didn’t exactly choose each other, but we are ineluctably part of each other’s lives.

What I appreciate about her is the blazing, undeniable intelligence that manifests itself in her ability, in our conversations, to recall minutiae from a transportation bill I sponsored in the Senate, or a 1994 speech I gave in Stockholm as First Lady; in her observations, appearing in her articles, of the perfect colorful detail from a state fair or pancake breakfast that I myself, sitting amidst it, missed; and in her snapping, spontaneous sense of humor. Once, at a signing ceremony for a greenhouse-gas-emissions law, when the president inadvertently referred to “hair pollution” instead of “air pollution,” my eyes landed on the journalist’s, and I had to look away and bite my tongue. When we spoke after the ceremony, she began by saying, “Like when you spill conditioner in the shower?” and I replied, “I was actually thinking about a certain perm I got in the mid-eighties.”

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Also by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sisterland
The Man of My Dreams
Prep
American Wife

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Midnight's Children
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Men Without Women
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Girl on the Train
Paris For One And Other Stories
An American Marriage
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
Breath
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Sanctuary