Mary Gaitskill's Trapdoors and Mirror Balls

The author returns with her first short-story collection in more than 10 years

These are the ghosts for whom Don't Cry saves its sympathy. There may be no better writer than Gaitskill at reaching deep into what she calls, in "Folk Song," the "trapdoors in personality and obsession," and pulling what she finds there back out into the world. Past, present, future; heartbreak, desire, and loss—none of it is quite beyond her. Her prose glides lightly over unsoundable depths, like the seemingly innocuous and familiar New York edifice one Don't Cry character passes, "a wall layered with many seasons of damp movie posters," where "the suggestion of a circus seeped up under the face of an actress, until a torn half tiger leapt, roaring, through the hoop of her eye."

Titanium emotional intelligence: Gaitskill
Hillary Harvey
Titanium emotional intelligence: Gaitskill


Don't Cry
By Mary Gaitskill
Pantheon, 226 pp., $23.95

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