BackTalk COVER.jpg

"Lazarin's work...joins a growing canon of quietly realist stories that establish women’s experiences as worthy of literary attention."
—Carmen Maria Machado for The New York Times

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2018

Editors' Choice, The New York Times

"Highbrow Brilliant" on New York Magazine's Approval Matrix

A Publisher's Weekly Debut Writer to Watch

"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

"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."

“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


“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