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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Story Prize

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Bustle and Lit Hub

A fiercely empathetic group portrait of the marginalized and outcast in moments of crisis, from one of the most galvanizing voices in American fiction.

Lidia Yuknavitch is a writer of rare insight into the jagged boundaries between pain and survival. Her characters are scarred by the unchecked hungers of others and themselves, yet determined to find salvation within lives that can feel beyond their control. In novels such as The Small Backs of Children and The Book of Joan, she has captivated audiences with stories of visceral power. Now, in Verge, she offers a shard-sharp mosaic portrait of human resilience on the margins. 

The landscape of Verge is peopled with characters who are innocent and imperfect, wise and endangered: an eight-year-old black-market medical courier, a restless lover haunted by memories of his mother, a teenage girl gazing out her attic window at a nearby prison, all of them wounded but grasping toward transcendence. Clear-eyed yet inspiring, Verge challenges us with moments of uncomfortable truth, even as it urges us to place our faith not in the flimsy guardrails of society but in the memories held - and told - by our own individual bodies. 

©2020 Lidia Yuknavitch (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Children harvest organs, janitors build magical worlds, and mourning lovers drive to destinations unknown in this searing, precise collection of short stories.” (Vogue)

"Brilliant.... Consistently incisive, with sharp sentences and a barreling pace.... This riveting collection invites readers to see women whose points of view are typically ignored.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Insistently visceral.... These howls from the throats of women, queer characters, the impoverished, and the addicted remind us of the beauty and pain of our shared humanity. Gutsy stories from one of our most fearless writers." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • tamara
  • 23-12-20

Micro doses of personhood and personas

Stories compiled like this feel rare. It was part memoir, part fiction, part poetry. Each story was narrates by a new voice, injecting personality, tone and nuance to the words, allowing the delivery to take on a life of its own, without attaching it to the author. This can be a great asset, as going in I was expecting a one voice experience, and came out with an alien hiccup of fragments of all kinds of being. I was a bit restless at times, as the thought sentences can run a bit loopy at times, but her writing still keeps the game fresh, moving with the times, but staying true to her style.