cover image Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever

Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever

Justin Taylor, . . Harper Perennial, $13.99 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-06-188181-7

Taylor’s superb debut short story collection is explorative and fresh with well-crafted empathic characters. In “A House in Our Arms,” a young hedge fund assistant reconnects with his first love, Leah, in New York yet is drawn to Richard, an older man. “Whistle Through Your Teeth and Spit” has proud regulars of a Lower East Side coffee house commenting on and criticizing the new bourgeois clientele as they watch the neighborhood change around them. “In My Heart I Am Already Gone,” gives narrator Kyle the unpleasant job of putting down his uncle’s cat, Buckles, all the while feeling terror that he will never escape his hometown or his on again/off again girlfriend. Each story is spare and clean and speaks the truth in beautiful resonant prose. (Feb.)