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A Publisher's Weekly Debut Writer to Watch
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"Danielle Lazarin’s first story collection, “Back Talk,” is a marvel of its kind, and it’s marvelous precisely in its Munrovian shiftiness, its ability to bend form and turn the story into something that is temporally and emotionally elastic."
San Francisco Chronicle

"This exquisite debut short story collection speaks to the ways women and girls define themselves and delineate their paths...Sensitive, intricate, and quietly powerful, Lazarin’s stories give voice to women learning to live on their own terms."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Lazarin’s exceptional debut collection digs deep into the lives of women, telling complex stories of loss, hope, and joy...Lazarin’s work is confident and exhilarating; this auspicious collection is uniformly excellent."
Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

“Brilliant and tender… With poignant imagery and a fresh voice, Lazarin[’s] exceptional craftsmanship speaks to the heart, as the paints these tales with empathy and a compassion that extends to all humankind.”
Booklist, Starred Review

"At a critical moment in feminist history, Lazarin’s intimate stories find women of almost all ages exploring the essence of freedom and the mixed blessing of human entanglement."

The word "haunting" is so often overused, but in this case, it is an accurate description of how these stories, set between New York and Paris, maneuver their way into your thoughts long after reading"
Angela Ledgerwood for Esquire

“Long live the short story, as long as writers like Lazarin are here to keep the form fresh. . . . Short stories are like sideways glances or overheard whispers that become more, and Lazarin makes us believe there’s worth in stories that we can steal moments to experience.”
The Millions

“The women and girls in Danielle Lazarin’s deeply affecting debut story collection are desperate for connection, whether to family members or friends or acquaintances thrown together by circumstance. There are also a few love interests, but this is not a book about romantic love—it’s about the loneliness that is a companion to so much of the love we undertake.”
—Maris Kreizman for Esquire

"Danielle Lazarin’s debut collection features stories of marriage, families, love, and loss that emit a vibe so low-key and unrushed at the outset that they startle when their depth of characterization, insight, and feeling dawns."
B&N Reads

"Danielle Lazarin's Back Talk is the ultimate collection of stories centered on the experience of women and girls — and we can't recommend it highly enough."
Pop Sugar

"Lazarin ventures into a host of lives in a variety of settings, and explores questions of grief, the emotional toll we can expect from others, and the unexpected ways that we do (or do not) connect with those around us. It’s powerful stuff, handled in unexpected ways."
Vol.1 Brooklyn

“This fantastic debut short story collection is filled with excellent stories of women and girls, centering on their lives in a way that feels refreshingly real. If you couldn't get enough of ‘Cat Person,’ this collection should be next on your list.”

“[An] excellent short story collection . . . Lazarin’s trove of protagonists, ranging in age, circumstance, and city, will speak to a different part of you.”

“Through sixteen affecting short stories, Danielle Lazarin delivers a powerful look at the moments that define relationships. It’s a phenomenal debut.”

“Grief, love, wariness, empathy, the confusions of simply being a woman—these are emotions that most of us feel but sometimes find difficult to express. Lazarin gives us the tools to do just that.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“In the wake of the widespread #MeToo movement, this powerful short story collection could not be more well-timed. A multitude of characters are introduced throughout Back Talk . . . but their tales, however different, are thematically the same: strong female voices and lives and the way in which they connect with each another.”


“Danielle Lazarin’s Back Talk is deceptively quiet but packs a powerful punch—much like the girls and women in its pages. The stories in this collection batter at the boundaries of female desire—not just for sex, but for intimacy, for visibility, for agency. They talk back to the idea that stories about women are ‘domestic,’ burrowing deep to find wildness and a smoldering fury beneath. The best collection I’ve read in years, from a phenomenal new talent.”
Celeste NgNew York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

“The stories in Back Talk are not only fierce and unflinching in their clear-eyed portrayal of women and girls, they are also tender and compassionate, imbued with a deep longing. Lazarin is a sophisticated writer and her remarkable debut offers us subtle but profound truths about growing up, moving forward, and finding ourselves.”
Edan LepuckiNew York Times bestselling author of California

“I fell in love with these elegant, beguiling tales. They’re about young women, but they are for everyone, whatever gender, whatever age, so universal is their poignant take on life and loving and loneliness, too. Reading Lazarin’s writing is like having a great friend in the room, telling you something that you know you need to hear, and telling it to you brilliantly.”
Robin Black, nationally bestselling author of Life Drawing

“These are wonderful stories—sparkling, witty, and tender, riding that sweet spot between urbane and vulnerable, between hilarity and heartbreak—all those impossible contradictions that remind us of what love is like. Lazarin’s astonishing insight and craftsmanship put me in mind of short story masters like Beattie and Baxter. I think she’s destined for the big leagues.”
—Dan ChaonNew York Times bestselling author of Ill Will

Back Talk offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the contemporary family in a state of creative destruction, flying apart and simultaneously reconstituting itself in new forms. Danielle Lazarin guides us through the varied permutations of her extended, blended families with insightful wit, surpassing empathy and wry wisdom.”
Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes

“Misfits and mess-ups, dreamers and delinquents, kids chafing at adolescence and adults failing at parenthood—it’s easy to see yourself in Danielle Lazarin’s characters. But these stories, like all good stories, aren’t a mirror: they’re a window that shows us the whole world.”
Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty

"I absolutely loved this book—from the first page to the last, this collection is stunning for its insight into the lives of young women, revelatory for its finely tuned prose, and unforgettable for its humor and tenderness. I will return to these stories again and again. I envy the reader who gets to discover Danielle Lazarin's work."
Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

“Smart, sharp, well-paced stories—worlds of their own that circle life and loss with humor, wit, and sparkling intelligence.”
—Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise and Almost Famous Women

“Thank God, a collection of stories about women who don’t hate themselves, don’t hate other women, don’t hate their bodies, don’t hate their husbands, or even their ex-husbands, don’t hate their sisters, their mothers, their fathers, their children. Women who sometimes choose to have sex and sometimes choose not to. Women who are simply, like me, trying to figure out what it means to be alive, to be in love, to be daughters, parents, siblings, wives, citizens, human beings. I hope Danielle Lazarin writes a million more stories like the ones in Back Talk so I can keep reading her work forever.”
Eileen Pollack, author of A Perfect Life