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The Game We Play

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by Susan Hope Lanier

The ten riveting, emotionally complex stories in The Game We Play examine the decisions we make when our choices are few and courage is costly. A young couple faces disease and commitment with the same sharp fear, a neglected woman battles her worsening condition of a very real invisibility, and a father makes a split-second decision that puts his child's life at risk.

"Susan Hope Lanier's collection of brilliant short stories, The Game We Play, is a triumph. Detailing distinct human relationships, moments of connection, and modern crises, these stories—all effortlessly rendered, all deeply felt—evoke the best of Raymond Carver and Lorrie Moore. An outstanding debut that should reaffirm our shared belief in the absolute necessity and imaginative possibility of the short story."
—Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps and Hairstyles of the Damned

"There's such pathos, humor, and sadness in the stories in Susan Hope Lanier's collection, The Game We Play, that I sometimes found myself holding my breath as I turned the pages. Lanier's characters, with their heartbreak and joys, their frustrations and fears, will stay in your thoughts long after you read the final sentence of this accomplished first book."
—Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry

"Lanier's deceptively breezy prose may pour off the page as easily as water flows from the tap, but her unassuming way with words actually requires great finesse. Apparently fluent in the unvarnished dialect we speak in our own thoughts, Lanier adroitly avoids the trap of trying too hard to sound clever. Instead, she relies on cutting wit, keen powers of observation, and an easily swollen heart to shine light on awkward truths in a way that renders them almost deliciously painful. Without glamorizing youthful malaise, her flawed but endearing characters bump—and sometimes grind—against each other, leaving the kinds of bruises that turn into lingering regret and inconvenient wisdom. In The Game We Play, Lanier manages to be understated and unflinching at the same time and strides forward with a confident, highly compassionate debut.”
—Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, Paste

Susan Hope Lanier earned an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College in 2012 and currently lives, writes, and photographs in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has appeared in Annalemma, Hair Trigger, Hobart Pulp, The Spoiler's Hand and in collaboration with Yes Press Books. 

Pages: 124
ISBN: 978-1940430270
Publication Date: September 2014

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