In the sense that all stories have been written before, a truly startling piece of fiction may be the greatest literary feat possible. Enter Stacey Richter, a virtuoso contender for that very prize, whose offbeat characters manage to toe the line between eccentricity and banal daily life. Each story is organized around a pair of characters, and these characters are permitted to reach their full bizarre potential against mundane backdrops. The result is fiction that drives toward a place of surreal revelation, in these sometimes disturbing, often funny, short pieces. In Twin Study, Richter beautifully captures — albeit through unlikely exemplars — the essential experience of humanity.
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Stacey Richter is the author of My Date with Satan. A four-time Pushcart Prize-winner and a winner of the National Magazine Award for fiction, she lives in Tucson, Arizona.