Books

Thunderstruck & Other Stories

(Coming from The Dial Press in 2014)

A collection of short stories previously published in Granta, Ploughshares, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, The Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Stories. Featuring: a girl ghost, the human musical saw, two three-legged dogs, a man ruined by a documentary movie, among others.

“McCracken’s short stories are like no others. Her distinctive voice, her slightly askew manner of looking at the world, her mix of mordant humor and tenderness, her sense of life’s ironies, and the jolt of electricity at the end of each tale make her work arresting and memorable… Readers will enjoy reading [the stories] twice—the first time quickly, because the plots are mesmerizing and strange, and the second to relish the dozens of images, aperçus, and descriptions…McCracken transforms life’s dead ends into transformational visions.” Publishers Weekly

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

A New York Times Notable Book

A memoir of two pregnancies, & two children: the first stillborn, the second a year later, healthy; both loved.

“She manages…the…complex task of delivering a grief memoir that fuses the immediacy readers crave from the genre with all the reflective, consoling depth of fiction.” Hepzibah Anderson, The Observer

“This is an intimate book….It is also a wildly important book.”  The Los Angeles Times

“Reading it is a mysteriously enlarging experience. It could pair neatly with Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking: it’s hard to imagine two more rigorous, unsentimental guides to enduring the very bottom of the scale of human emotion.” Lev Grossman, Time Magazine

“Stunning…it is a triumph of her will and her writing that she has turned her tragedy into a literary gift.” Publishers Weekly

Niagara Falls All Over Again

New York Times Book Review Notable Book

L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award

The story of the comedy team Carter & Sharp, from vaudeville to Hollywood to old age.

“Suffice to say, this is a book about love, about the alchemy that attention can perform, about the complexities of giving and receiving. Compassionate, perceptive, generous, this novel shines. It is also as compelling as anything I’ve read in years. Once I picked it up, I simply could not put it down.” John Burnside, the Scotsman

“In the vernacular of vaudeville, a successful act was called a Riot, a Panic, a Knockout and — the final accolade — a Wow, in an ascending order that suggests a brawl ending with a victor, his foot planted on the other fellow’s chest. Elizabeth McCracken’s new novel, Niagara Falls All Over Again, is a Wow.” Carrie Brown, The Washington Post

“A career-making book that bears interesting comparison with both Philip Roth’s I Married a Communist and Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.” Kirkus Reviews

The Giant’s House

New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Salon Book Award Finalist for the National Book Award

A love story about a little librarian on Cape Cod and the tallest boy in the world.

“[S]uch is the incantatory power of McCracken’s eccentric tale that by its close we are complexly in the grip of its strangely conceived ardor…Somewhere in the middle of reading this book, I found myself wanting never to leave its carefully delineated, well-tended precincts.” Daphne Merkin, The New Yorker

“A small masterpiece, profound, subtle and harmonious.” Carol Birch, The Independent

“The author is gifted both with the quotidian and the bizarre, polishing the ordinary to a high shine and making the extraordinary just exactly what you would expect…an extract of this novel stood out from Granta’s recent Best of Young American Novelists : it is a joy to see such promise so entirely fulfilled.” Erica Wagner, The Times (London)

Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry

An ALA Notable Book

Short stories about (among other things) a tattooed woman, children brought up by boarders in a boarding house, a woman who insists she is a relative, and a murderer sixty years after his crime.

“McCracken’s voice is lively and witty, and astonishingly assured… These stories abound with similar beauties and originalities of phrasing and insight. A startlingly good debut.” Neil Paraday, The Guardian

“Only poets have the same obsessive concern with language that philosophers do, and McCracken is clearly a poet…Funny and heartbreaking…A terrific book…You could gulp (these stories) like heart-candy.” Geoffrey Stokes, The Boston Sunday Globe

“Impressive . . . elegantly written.” New York Times Book Review

“McCracken is a . . . robust, ferocious romantic who sees reality with all its chinks, twitches, and zits, and finds it beautiful.” Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love