Susan Steinberg

“Susan Steinberg’s third collection, Spectacle . . . surveys busted love, good girls gone bad, and disappeared friends. Unconventional and drily funny, these narcotic stories hypnotize.”O Magazine
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

About the Book

A bold and vital new collection from the award-winning author of Hydroplane and The End of Free Love

In this inventive collection of linked stories, women confront loss and grief as they sift through the wreckage of their lives. A woman struggles with the death of her friend in a plane crash. A daughter decides whether to take her father off life support in the Pushcart Prize-winning “Cowboys.” And when a man hits his girlfriend, she calls it an accident. Spectacle bears witness to alarming and strange incidents: carnival rides and plane crashes, affairs spied through keyholes and amateur porn, vandalism and petty theft. Steinberg challenges conventional gender roles and subverts assumptions about narrative with a fierce, lyric intensity, as these wounded women stand at the edge of disaster and risk it all to speak their sharpest secrets. A vital and turbulent book from a distinctive voice, Spectacle will break your heart, and then, before the last page is turned, will bind it up anew.

Additional Reviews

“[T]he best kind of experimental fiction. [Steinberg] consistently displays inventiveness, risk-taking, and surprising turns in voice, syntax, structure, and punctuation.”—Dallas Morning News

“Steinberg’s all-female narrators tell stories of loss, abandonment, failure to love, and failure to ‘perform’ in the ways the people in their lives expect them to.”The New Yorker's Page-Turner

“Narrated entirely by women whose voices merge, divide, recur, and dissipate into one another, [Spectacle feels] novelistic in scope and ambition. . . . This is a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction.”Publishers Weekly, starred review