In Karin Lin-Greenberg’s Faulty Predictions, young characters try to find their way in the world and older characters confront regrets. In “Editorial Decisions,” members of the editorial board of a high school literary magazine are witnesses to an unspeakable act of violence. Two grandmothers, both immigrants from China, argue over the value of their treasures at a filming of Antiques Roadshow in “Prized Possessions.” In “A Good Brother,” a sister forces her brother to accompany her to the Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement. A city bus driver adopts a pig that has been brought onto the bus by rowdy college students in “Designated Driver.”
The stories in Faulty Predictions take place in locales as diverse as small-town Ohio, the mountains of western North Carolina, and the plains of Kansas. Lin-Greenberg provides insight into the human condition over a varied cross section of geography, age, and culture. Although the characters are often faced with obstacles and challenges, the stories also capture moments of optimism and hope.
Karin Lin-Greenberg is a connoisseur of screwy family dynamics and outrageous situations. The ten inventive and diverse stories in this debut collection cover a lot of territory, from a pig on a city bus to the Half and Half Multicultural Club's 'Things Inside of Other Things' special event put on at the local nursing home. Here you will meet a man who smashes loaves of grocery store bread for the good of society, and you'll witness the Running of the Brides at Filene's Basement. Lin-Greenberg makes joyful sense of it all. What a pleasure it has been to read these wise and wonderful stories.
—Bonnie Jo Campbell, bestselling author of Once Upon a River
The stories in Karin Lin-Greenberg's debut collection are gems. Her characters walk the narrow line between comedy and tragedy, a lean territory thatLin-Greenberg navigates with skill and grace. I loved her curmudgeonly grandfathers, her young parents and college students and recovering alcoholics, her feuding septuagenarian housemates and fading talk show hosts. The range in this book is deep and marvelous. What fierce talent Lin-Greenberg has.
—Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry
These stories are delightfully contemporary: in their telling, their wit, and their dissections of the way we live. A vivid and refreshing new voice.
—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House
The ten luminous stories in Lin-Greenberg's masterful collection are united by her examination of the various and devious ways people try to put things into perspective. . . . A winner of the coveted Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, Lin-Greenberg deservedly joins such past recipients as Ha Jin, Kellie Wells, and Antonya Nelson as she offers a piquant look at life's bittersweet moments.
—Carol Haggas, Booklist (starred review)
is, as the name suggests, about all of the ways we expect more or less than we should from other people—parents, friends, lovers—as well as ourselves. The people who inhabit these stories are complicated, struggling, and often hilarious. Karin Lin-Greenberg offers everything I come to fiction hoping for—engaging narrators, precise observation, surprise, and finally compassion for the ways in which we are, all of us, flawed. Readers, you are in for a treat.
—Lori Ostlund, author of The Bigness of the World
This collection of ten short stories announces the arrival of a talented young writer with a distinctive narrative voice. . . . She is a gifted storyteller. . . . Unlike so many story collections today, which tend to the dark and cryptic, Faulty Predictions
pulses with a bemused energy. . . . In these ten stories, Lin-Greenberg displays impressive insight into human nature and empathy for regular people trying to make sense of their lives and circumstances. She also possesses a nicely dry wit and a gift for realistic dialogue that pops off the page. Remember her name; she is a young writer worth watching.
—Bill Wolfe, Read Her Like an Open Book
Some of the stories in Faulty Predictions
have appeared previously in excellent literary journals, and it’s easy to see why: they range, colorfully and empathically, across a number of worlds and human predicaments. Appealingly, the voices narrating them, whatever the point of view, share a winning, gentle, clear gravity. These are stories you can easily enter and dwell in, but which not only shy away from the difficult – they head straight for it. . . . Faulty Predictions
is a delightful debut, worth finding and savoring.
—Joan Frank, Antioch Review