Micro-Review: “Cities I Never Lived In,” by Sara Majka

I just finished a collection of linked short stories, Cities I’ve Never Lived in, by Sara Majka. This is a collection of linked short storiesI heard of from some ten-best list or other, and it is awfully good.

It mostly follows a single character, a woman who is constantly losing focus on her world and perhaps even her feelings, and it’s written in a poetic, often wistful, always elegiac style. Two of the stories use mild touches of a Murakami-style magical realism, but most of them do not; there is a driftingness to them all, though, that is perhaps like the nostalgia of someone who’s never been born for the life they missed.

A tiny masterpiece, only 160 pages, and a masterful new voice. I recommend it without reservation.

Rick Risemberg