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“This book is a wonder. I laughed out loud early and kept on laughing, sometimes with recognition, sometimes with sheer delight at the precision with which Levine portrays the bafflement of being human and interacting with other humans. Read Short Dark Oracles for yourself and prepare to be both charmed and alarmed.”

Matthea Harvey, author of Modern Life


“Hemingway said somewhere that he wanted to write like Cezanne painted. In her vivid hyper-real collection, Short Dark Oracles, Sara Levine paints her way into even sharper and more dangerous corners. The fictions are an impasto of primed primary colors, prose that cuts a swath in brilliant swatches of saturated power that pops, punches, turns every turn into a fat flat facet, hard as a side of diamond, steel still-lives, glittering, metallic, distilled. Ernest be damned, I want to write like Sara Levine writes.”

Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter


“Levine’s narrators are self-aware, self-deprecating, sardonic and more than a little funny. ‘The Fainting Couch’ alone is worth the price of admission, but Oracles offers other treasures just as lovely.”

Cooper Renner, author of Mosefolket


“Hilarious and triumphant, these stories will startle you on every page, and on every page you will marvel over Levine’s intelligent, passionate mind.”

Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution


Short Dark Oracles was the runner-up manuscript in the 2010 Caketrain Chapbook Competition, as judged by Deb Olin Unferth.


Acknowledgments

Cover art © 2010 Olaf Hajek. Used by permission. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors of the journals in which these stories first appeared: Elimae: “Oracle” (as “Psychic”); Web Conjunctions: “Must We Stoop for Violets in the Hedge?”; Caketrain: “The Fainting Couch”; Front Porch Review: “A Promise” (as “Every Little Thing”); Nerve.com: “Short Dark Oracles”; Sonora Review: “For the Floor” (as “Mr. Wrong”); Necessary Fiction: “Baby Love”; Teacup: “Little Grey Dog”; The Iowa Review: “The Following Fifteen Things.” Text © 2011 Sara Levine.