Titles 1998-2018

This Is Not Your City, Caitlin Horrocks


Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
Editor’s Choice, The New York Times Book Review
Best Books of 2011, San Francisco Chronicle

Thirteen women confront dramas both every-day and outlandish in Caitlin Horrocks’ This Is Not Your City. In stories as darkly comic as they are unflinching, people isolated by geography, emotion, or circumstance cut imperfect paths to peace—they have no other choice. A Russian mail-order bride in Finland is rendered silent by her dislocation and loss of language; the mother of a severely disabled boy writes him postcards he'll never read on a cruise ship held hostage by pirates; and an Iowa actuary wanders among the reincarnations of those she's known in her 127 lives. Horrocks’ women find no simple escapes, and their acts of faith and acts of imagination in making do are as shrewd as they are surprising.

For a classroom-ready reader's guide written by the author herself, follow this link, and explore more titles with reader's guides in Sarabande in Education

Add To Cart

Additional Info

Caitlin Horrocks lives in Michigan, by way of Ohio, Arizona, England, Finland, and the Czech Republic. Her stories have appeared in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, The Pushcart Prize XXXV, The Paris Review, Tin House, and The Southern Review. Recently, she won the $10,000 Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review. She teaches at Grand Valley State University.


“. . . in Caitlin Horrocks’s impressively sharp first book. . . . she deploys love and humor as convincingly as dread.”
The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

“What many of the stories have in common is startlingly ingenious writing and a note of what could be called sprightly heartbreak. There is an offhand jauntiness in telling terrible things.”
The Boston Globe

“Plimpton Prize–winner Horrocks effortlessly navigates the comedy and bewilderment of being middle class without an ounce of condescension, martyrdom, or sensationalism. . . . It’s a standout story in a stellar collection, the perfect example of Horrocks’s ability to create an authentic and thoughtful narrative of honesty and hurt and hope.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"How can a first book arrive with such advanced understanding of all the beautiful and sometimes shaded echelons of hope in which we live our lives? Caitlin Horrocks is a stunning writer and these stories mark a brilliant debut. She knows language and she knows people and I am grateful for this book."                                
—Ron Carlson

"This is Not Your City is a spooky, lovely book by an almost unbelievably versatile, self-assured, and talented young writer. Caitlin Horrocks is a writer to remember; This is Not Your City is a book impossible to forget."
—Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

"Caitlin Horrocks is that literary phenomenon: a master storyteller. In each of these eleven short fictions, she lends confident style, mature perspective, and myriad voices to people in situations and circumstances we might otherwise turn from or never know of. This Is Not Your City is smart, entertaining, and emotionally mesmerizing—a superb, daredevil immersion steeped in grace."
—Melissa Pritchard, author of Disappearing Ingenue and Late Bloomer