You Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine

Gustine excels at dramatizing the cunning of the human animal—a creature renowned for its skill at self-sabotage—as well as celebrating the freakish grace that can sometimes strike an ordinary life. You Should Pity Us Instead is a devastating, funny, and astonishingly frank collection.    –Karen Russell

You Should Pity Us Instead explores some of our toughest dilemmas: the cost of Middle East strife at its most intimate level, the likelihood of God considered in day-to-day terms, the moral stakes of family obligations, and the inescapable fact of mortality. Amy Gustine exhibits an extraordinary generosity toward her characters, instilling them with a thriving, vivid presence.

An “affecting and wide-ranging debut.” The New York Times Book Review

“The entire collection…is a disconcerting marvel, rife with undertow and carried out in crystalline clear prose and exquisite construction.” Library Journal

Starred Reviews in Publishers WeeklyKirkus Booklist

On The Millions “Most Anticipated Books of 2016”
On Buzzfeed’s list of “The 27 Most Exciting Books Coming in 2016”
On For Books’ Sake’s “2016 Fiction Highlights”
Featured on Refinery29’s “Your 2016 Pop Culture Cheat Sheet”
Publisher’s Weekly Pick for February 8, 2016
One of Bustle’s “18 Of February 2016’s Best Books To Light Up Your Winter”
A Noteworthy Title on The Week’s “28 Books to Read in 2016”
BookRiot’s “Quick Pick February 12, 2016”
BookBrowse Featured Book
On VagaBomb’s “Best Books of February 2016”

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“Gustine’s tales are bursting with startling insights, stabbing dialogue, ambushing metaphors, and stunning moments of dissonance. Her first collection aligns her with such short story stars as Joy Williams, Antonya Nelson, and Bonnie Jo Campbell.”
Booklist, Starred Review

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“In this dazzling debut collection, Gustine shows tremendous range, empathy, and spark…Gustine’s language is uniformly remarkable for its clarity and forthrightness.”
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

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Publisher’s Weekly

“The stakes are high in every story, and not one of them ends without a moment both understated and haunting.  This is exactly the kind of prose a poet would write, and the kind of poetry out of which the best stories are spun.”
–Laura Kasischke, author of Mind of Winter

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Advance Praise: Laura Kasischke