book reviews

Russian Lover and Other Stories

A well-done short story feels miraculous, the selection of just the right moments and details to create an entire reality in a bite-sized handful of pages. Woodstock author Jana Martin gets it right. (Anne Pyburn, Chronogram)

Joining the ranks of female fiction writers such as Amy Hempel and A.M. Homes, Jana Martin’s first collection of short stories is a force of contemporary nature. (BUST magazine)

"Knocked my socks off" (Mary Greene, Hudson River Reporter)

"Precise, succinct language keeps the reader in the moment and unprepared for a subtle evolution into the fantastic. In other words: You buy it long before you know you're being sold something. But not so much because Martin's a sweet talker; with prose so forthright and deliberate it's easy to believe you're in the hands of a straight shooter. That's what makes it so surprising, so captivating, when you suddenly realize she's been pulling a fast one on you." (Patrick Rapa, Philadelphia City Paper)

"Many of the women similarly toe the line between tough and vulnerable, endearingly troubled troublemakers. Rather than a single action or decision forging the conflict of the stories, the characters’ entire lives up until the moment of the story serve as the driving force. " (Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago)

"Martin is a writer to watch for" (Dan Wickett, emergingwritersnetwork)

"Buy a copy to read at the beach; you will not be disappointed." (Joshua Glenn, brainiac on The Boston Globe.com)

"Astonishing, stunning, enduring. My only complaint is that I want more." (HSALitworks)

“Prose so luminous it glows like poetry, stories that make you cry" (Tucson Weekly)

"Jana Martin’s sentences have beauty and bite and a rhythm all their own. These are tough, funny stories" (Sam Lipsyte)

"There’s an elegant, flaring strength to Russian Lover, a precision of language that is daring and unique" (Lydia Millet)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


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