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Staff Picks

Objects of Desire: Stories

Emily Porter

June 25, 2021


Clare Sestanovich gives us a peek into the desires of modern life, lives that are figuring out the everyday, and writes lovely short stories that give us snippets of all these lives that tie together.

Objects of Desire: Stories by Clare Sestanovich, Knopf Publishing Group

Sometimes I find myself looking out of my back window, across the lawn, across the dog park and onto the building with the open portholes into strangers' lives. People who I will never meet, or perhaps sit in the same café with, unknowing that we are living out our lives on the same street. I see them eating dinner alone, their dog looking desperately out the window yearning to jump among the other dogs in the park, and the vases, flowers and other knickknacks that decorate the small view of their lives.  

Have you ever seen a person and envisioned their life or their story? This book is a portal into eleven women's lives, through moments of heartache, desire, random thoughts, experiences, hopes and dreams, and sometimes the sadness and raw beauty of modern life. A recent graduate navigating the world and who she is makes an empty bond with a couple on a plane. A woman, grief stricken, finds a new life to live. Another, searching for her identity through a divorce while arranging her son's wedding. Every one of these stories shows the vastness of these journeys we call life. Beautiful stories that trickle random thought that is utterly compelling. 

When I thought of all the ways faces rearranged themselves from different angles and distances—a nose in profile, a nose up close, a nose illuminated by a camera’s flash—it seemed miraculous that we recognized each other at all. 

Clare Sestanovich gives us a peek into the desires of modern life, lives that are figuring out the everyday—figuring out love, identity, loss and all the other things in between that make us human—and writes lovely short stories that give us snippets of all these lives that tie together. A window into the lives of strangers, we get to know these souls for a moment, feel their emotions, their desires, a small portion of their lives. It is lovely, sad, and incredibly raw.  

You can almost envision your own story among these pages, or that of someone you used to know. You see yourself in these women, you see your neighbor, a college acquaintance or the person in the building across the street. Objects of Desire is an engaging read about the human experience in our times. 

About Emily Porter

Emily Porter is our Community & Publicity Manager who loves conversing with the wonderful authors we work with. A film photographer and long-time film industry nomad, she has had a constant love for books throughout her life. When not at work she enjoys curling up with her cats, adding to her bookshelves, practicing yoga, and photographing new landscapes. Travel. Cats. Coffee. Tea. Film. Books. RadioLab. National Geographic. Patti Smith. Dinosaurs.

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