“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
“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
“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
“Intense situations plumbed with candor and a finely focused attentiveness to nuance…You Should Pity Us Instead is an authoritative debut.”
–Rosellen Brown, award-winning author of Before and After and Tender Mercies
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, Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and author of Swamplandia!