A college freshman, traveling home, strikesup an odd, ephemeral friendship with the couple next to her on the plane. A mother prepares for her son’s wedding, her own life unraveling as his comes together. A long-lost stepbrother’s visit to New York prompts a family’s reckoning with its old taboos. A wife considers the secrets her marriage once contained. An office worker, exhausted by the ambitions of the men around her, emerges into a gridlocked city one afternoon to make a decision.
In these eleven powerful stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women’s lives, from the brink of adulthood to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse. Tender, lucid, and piercingly funny, Objects of Desire is a collection pulsing with subtle drama, rich with unforgettable scenes, and alive with moments of recognition each more startling than the last—a spellbinding debut that announces a major talent.
Clare Sestanovich is an editor at The New Yorker. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper’s, and Electric Literature. She lives in Brooklyn.
Read: Separation, The New Yorker
Prompt: Make a list of things you’ve lost over the years. Begin by describing an object, weave in other items you’ve lost, then write from the perspective of the missing thing.