“A familiar yet highly inventive collection of short fiction which hits virtually all my buttons: dark humor, complex female characters, and a strong summer camp storyline.”—Lena Dunham, Lenny
Claire is magnetic. On the cusp of adulthood and letting go of her adolescence one miserable responsibility at a time, she’s moved from London to San Francisco to work toward her PhD and minor in cheap whiskey, pour-over coffee, and guys who can’t be bothered to shower. When she finds out she’s pregnant by a heartsick ex-boyfriend, the solution seems clear, if only to her.
Kira is a talented thirteen-year-old Russian gymnast who leaves her traditional family to travel to America.
Elise and Jenni, two Australian high school students, seek asylum from the hooking up and heavy drinking they’ve been doing for years by reenrolling in their childhood sleepaway camp.
Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, Hot Little Hands introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind.
Abigail Ulman’s voice feels of the moment—sharp and powerful—as she deftly explores ageless themes of sex and maturity among girls who are both confident and frighteningly exposed.
Praise for Hot Little Hands
“In this sardonic, smart, and thoroughly modern debut collection, Ulman presents nine stories about young women on the verge of adulthood, motherhood, and more who make momentous decisions while delirious with desire.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“[Ulman] excels at dialogue and narrative. The more you get to know her characters, the funnier it is to witness their verbal code-switching as they navigate between nosy parents, fumbling love interests, and trusted friends. That none of these stories is constrained by any need for tidy endings makes them all the more believable.”—The Atlantic
“Deftly written with a fresh and realistic style . . . Each female protagonist is wonderfully complicated and charming in her own way.”—Bookreporter
“The captivating women in this collection leave a lasting impression.”—Publishers Weekly
“Genuinely insightful . . . Hot Little Hands is the rare collection that portrays how life pivots around mundane moments as readily as earth-shaking events.”—Shelf Awareness
“It is rare for a collection to so adeptly capture the way life can be at once facile and intense. Ulman’s details are lifelike and droll, her style lucid and engaging, and the overall effect stirring.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A noteworthy debut. . . . Ulman writes without judgment, and this is what gives her characters life. They are multifaceted, flawed beings—sometimes victims of others, but often victims of their own actions—in whom readers will recognize flashes of themselves.”—Booklist
“The stories are beautifully paced, the dialogue perfect. There is a lovely comedy underpinning the cool tone. Often this becomes hilarious, but it is also controlled and well-judged. Abigail Ulman knows how to write a story, manage a buildup, hold your attention, suggest that somehow nothing much is happening while, in fact, everything is going on.”—Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn