A new collection of short fiction by the author of the cult classic Pieces for the Left Hand
Let Me Think is a meticulous selection of short stories by one of the preeminent chroniclers of the American absurd. Through J. Robert Lennon’s mordant yet sympathetic eye, the quotidian realities of marriage, family, and work are rendered powerfully strange in this rich and innovative collection.
These stories, most no more than a few pages, are at once experimental and compulsively readable, the work of an expert craftsman who can sketch whole lives in a mere handful of lines, or reveal, over pages, the boundless complexity of a passing thought. Here you’ll find a heist gone wrong, a case of mistaken identity, a hostile encounter with a neighborhood eccentric, a glass eye, a talking owl, and a six-fingered hand. Whatever the subject, Lennon disarms the reader with humor before pivoting to pathos, pain, and disappointment—most notably in an extraordinary sequence of darting, painfully funny fictions about a disintegrating marriage that captures the myriad ways intimacy can fail us, and the ways that we can fail it.
Like Lennon’s earlier story collection Pieces for the Left Hand, Let Me Think holds a mirror up to our long-held grudges and secret desires, our petty resentments and moments of redeeming grace, and confirms him as a virtuoso of the form.
“[Let Me Think] is an indelible assortment of characters in flux, fighting, flailing, failing to communicate, and eating or not eating (or hate-eating) pie. Each of the 71 stories, some just a sentence or paragraph long, tackles the small and large disappointments, existential horrors and mundane joys of modern life.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Let Me Think is true to its title; it’s such a thoughtful collection, one that feels, at times, as if it is in direct conversation with its reader and with the world around us.”—Colorado Review
“Lennon (Pieces for the Left Hand) deploys his trademark off-kilter, acrimonious humor in this arresting collection. . . . Lennon has talent to spare.”—Publishers Weekly