Objects of Desire: Stories

Honoree, 5 Under 35 2022

ISBN 9780593318096
Knopf / Penguin Random House
Author headshot of Clare Sestanovich Credit: Edward Friedman
Clare Sestanovich

Clare Sestanovich is the author of Objects of Desire, which was a finalist for the PEN Robert W. Bingham Prize. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, The Drift, and Electric Literature. More about this author >

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A college freshman, traveling home, strikes up 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.