“From troubled relationships to burned-down apartments to wild animals on the loose, Nicole Haroutunian has created an unforgettable portrait of what it's like to be a young woman in contemporary America. This is a beautiful, funny, poignant, unflinching collection.” –Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, author of Brief Encounters With the Enemy
From a captivating new author come twelve piercing stories, in which young women negotiate friendship and marriage, art and commerce, and the possibility that their lives might not work out as planned. After the house of the young couple in "A Cane, an Anchor" goes up in flames, they're unsure of what they lost in the fire and what they'd lost long before it. "The Living" asks, how would you arrange your life if you had only six months left? In "Youse," two teenage girls are the targets of an attempted kidnapping. A trio of linked stories--including the title track--follows Meg and Dax, a curator and a butcher who married impulsively, from their eerie honeymoon in rural Wales through Meg's identity crisis when the museum where she works is destroyed, to early parenthood, when a coyote's spectral presence at their child's birthday party in a Queens park suggests deeper threats.
Visit speeddreamingstories.com to learn more.
Nicole Haroutunian was named a "New Author You Need to Know" by Refinery29 and a "Writer to Watch" by Library Journal.
Matthew Caprioli wrote, in The Paris Review, "All twelve stories in Nicole Haroutunian’s slender debut, Speed Dreaming, pull their weight. My favorite, “A Cane, An Anchor,” centers on a couple who must live with the husband’s parents after a fire burns down their house; the caustic language and careful setting reminded me of A. M Homes. Haroutunian is smart about contemporary relationships, and her collection will certainly resonant with the Modern Love crowd. Her protagonists, all women, admit to melodrama, but they go one step further than the characters in Girls in that they question what’s behind their woe-is-me antics. Through their honesty, we get characters we actually like, who illuminate what it means to be a woman outside of Lena Dunham’s 'Brooklyn.'" Click the icons below to read more.
"Speed Dreaming is a book spilling over with talent. How enticing and accurately drawn these stories are, with their bright touches and ominous edges, their smart young characters blocked by what they can't see yet. A wonderful debut." --Joan Silber, author of Fools and Ideas of Heaven
“These passionate stories of women and their half disasters, half-rotten men, and fully open hearts are written so nimbly and with such energy and momentum and compassion that I found myself carrying the book from room to room, brushing my teeth and feeding the dog while reading, unwilling to put them down.” –Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War
"The characters who appear (and reappear) in Speed Dreaming are full of intelligence, wit, imagination, and empathy—as well as regret, fickleness, and occasional selfishness. In other words, they are wholly human. With unbelievable precision and grace, Nicole Haroutunian examines the exquisite, transcendent, and inexplicably eerie moments of her character’s everyday lives and gives meaning to the smallest details of their worlds. Speed Dreaming is unforgettable." --Nelly Reifler, author of Elect H. Mouse State Judge and See Through
"Nicole Haroutunian’s debut is a stunning speed dream in itself. These propulsive stories of young women in and out of love, work, and trouble are suffused with a strange magic that lingers long after the final page has been turned." --Dawn Raffel, author of The Secret Life of Objects and In the Year of Long Division
“Fire, car and truck accidents, mysterious disease and a coyote at a child’s birthday party are only some of the calamities that these protagonists must confront along with the minor indignities and incongruities of romance and work. Haroutunian brings her complicated young women to life with intelligence, wit and utter literary confidence. Her book is a splendid debut. –Melvin Jules Bukiet, author ofUndertown and A Faker’s Dozen
"A bowler hat, a volleyball net, a pig tattoo: Nicole Haroutunian’s stories all have unexpected details that attract the eye and alert the mind. Those details glitter on the surface while something else entirely goes on underneath: dark tides of life, death, illness, and love, and people who are carried away by them during the course of otherwise normal lives." –Ben Greenman, author of The Slippage and Mo Meta Blues
"The world of Speed Dreaming is populated by women who are stronger than they think they are. The moments in which they catch a glimpse of their true strength--and there is one in each of these twelve dazzling, linked stories--are tiny explosions of magic. Nicole Haroutunian is a magician, and this a stellar debut." --Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0
“Nicole Haroutunian is a master of excavating what is ominous and therefore worthy of examination in our everyday lives -- sleepover games, damaged bodies, dying cities, Brooklyn parrots, and the prosaic catastrophes of love. I loved reading these perfectly formed stories about thoughtful urbanites and their search for meaning in the mundane.” –Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean from Here
"Nicole Haroutunian's stories are precise little gems. I know I'll return to them again and again, since there's something new and beautiful to find in them every time I open this collection." --Lauren Grodstein, author of An Explanation for Everything and A Friend of the Family
"These honest and perceptive stories contend with the painful contradictions of modern love; that it is precious as it is quotidian; inadequate as it is essential." --Julie Sarkissian, author of Dear Lucy
"This collection by Nicole Haroutunian is singingly, searingly excellent stuff. "Youse" and "The Last Unicorn," among a host of many others, will stun you wide awake." --Adrian Van Young, author of The Man Who Noticed Everything and Shadows in Summerland