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Lorrie Moore meets Ottessa Moshfegh in this darkly playful and subversive debut story collection exploring the many impossible choices that accompany 21st century femaleness.

What is the right way to handle an abusive partner? An unexpected pregnancy? A toxic friendship? Chronic unemployment? Gender dysphoria? A family member going to war? A disability? Anger? Loneliness?

Finding themselves in disempowering, frightening, or otherwise unendurable circumstances, the girls, women, and non-binary characters in Maria Adelmann's stories look for ways to free themselves into new lives or, at the very least, new states of feeling. Sometimes they do this by hurting someone else or getting hurt; sometimes by submitting, other times by mounting a rebellion. With a special talent for pressing the sharp up against the tender, Adelmann explores the many pathways through the titular condition.

Ranging in style from the magical to the terrifying to the calm tones of a self-help manual, Girls of a Certain Age captures the spectrum of strategies we apply to the pain of life, strategies that we persist in pretending might actually work.
 

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