Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

SUPPORT INDIE BOOKSTORES—now is the time to buy some books from your local favorite. Or try out where a portion of the proceeds go to the virtual indie storefront of your choice.

Pieces for the Left Hand

J. Robert Lennon
A student's suicide note is not what it seems. A high-school football rivalry turns absurd—and deadly. A much-loved cat seems to have been a different animal all along. A pair of identical twins aren't identical at all—or even related. A man finds his own yellowed birth announcement inside a bureau bought at auction. Set in a small upstate New York town, told in a conversational style, Pieces for the Left Hand is a stream of a hundred anecdotes, none much longer than a page. At once funny, bizarre, familiar and disturbing, these deceptively straightforward tales nevertheless shock and amaze through uncanny coincidence, tragic misunderstanding, strange occurrence, or sudden insight. Unposted letters, unexpected visitors, false memories—in J. Robert Lennon's vision of a typical American town, these are the things that decide our fate. Wry and deadpan, powerful and philosophical, these addictive little tales reveal the everyday world as a strange and eerie place.




Share Title

Publication Date
Trim Size
5 x 7
Finally available in the United States, a singular collection about small town America that Time Out declared "unsettlingly brilliant—like literary canapes."


About the Author

J. Robert  Lennon
J. Robert Lennon is the author of eight novels, including Broken River, Familiar, Castle, and Mailman, and two story collections. His fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Granta, Harper’s, Playboy, and the New Yorker. He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.
More by author


  • "Occasionally withering and frequently hilarious, these anecdotes highlight little knots of human curiosity."—Publishers Weekly
  • “Darkly funny. . . . a sly collection.”—Kirkus Reviews
  • Pieces for the Left Hand consists of 100 very short stories . . . in which not a word is wasted, and not one of which could be cut. Despite the self--deprecating title, the collection is anything but offhand: it is a rigorous display of storytelling verve, quantity, and control. . . . It is his most perfect work so far.”—Wyatt Mason, London Review of Books
  • “A phantasmagoria of American paranoia and self-loathing.”—Jonathan Lethem, The Daily Telegraph Books of the Year
Back to Table of Contents