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If a Stranger Approaches You

In her first collection of short stories, Laura Kasischke exposes the dark heart of the domestic—it's wrapped in shabby silk, tucked away in a dresser drawer. If A Stranger Approaches You reminds us that intersection of the bizarre and the quotidian is always at play. Memorial statues and raggedy dolls seem to come to life, a man listens to the electric menace of suburban power lines while he struggles with his failed marriage, and the little boy and his dog knocking on the door might be Death in disguise. Surreal and darkly comic, these are stories that know the unexpected graces and random collisions that drive and haunt us. As one of her narrators remarks, "What a thing, this life."