ISBN: 9780990454663 (Print) 9780990454670 (eBook)
$14.00 (Print); $9.99 (eBook)
About the Author
The Gender of Inanimate Objects and Other Stories
In the phosphorescent title novella of Laura Marello’s collection, an enigmatic drifter pursues her circuitous path through the intricate cultural terrain of Sweetwater County, California, a patchwork of communities where “everyone speaks the wrong language.” Through subtle, disciplined prose inflected with the deep colors and clear lines of ancient Mykonos and the northern Californian coast, The Gender of Inanimate Objects and Other Stories depicts the liminal and often surreal states of temporarily rootless people—Old World immigrants, grad students, unfaithful spouses at a business conference—who teeter ambivalently on the cusp of freedom as they reach back for the stories and relationships that bind them. Infused with a razor-sharp sense of time and place, Marello’s stories connect the core themes of human connectivity--infidelity, sexual identity, childhood, and ever-present memory--with a serene, sometimes sorrowful awareness of the different ways in which we make peace with ourselves.
Shortlisted for Stanford University's 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.
Advance Acclaim for The Gender of Inanimate Objects and Other Stories
“A dazzling collection—populated by strivers and grievers and criminals and romantics and cheaters and lonelyhearts—that is written in prose that is at once luminous and unflinching. Laura Marello has given us another book that is deeply thoughtful, totally human, wildly inventive, and downright haunting.”
- Adam Davies, author of Goodbye Lemon
“In Laura Marello’s The Gender of Inanimate Objects and Other Stories, people can be described by the brand of cigarettes they smoke. A Porsche can get poured full of
cement. On any ordinary day, there can be a voice in your life for which you cannot find the embodiment. The welter of event and connection can make us consider bliss.
There is bliss in recognition far more important than joy.
"Marello’s eye is a crystal lens, not a ball or mirror. Her powers of observation are anthropological, and this anthropology includes the possible, the magical. Dialogue and events are created with exquisite reality and slant perspective. The reader immerses themselves in this invention–so great is her talent.
"Marello’s use of the possible embodies the real zany possibilities contained in mundane, congested, life. Marello's wit and eye is felt. We feel the old lady upstairs with fabulous but decayed history might debilitate anyone's ambition. We suspect the woman you have sought in your head, all your life, might reveal herself to you, but only as a voice in a video machine. In her explorations of the possible, Marello's fictions evoke Marquez, Calvino and
- Paul Nelson, author of Burning the Furniture