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Imaginary Museums: Stories (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Reading Imaginary Museums feels like you're sitting on the morning train, chatting with the passengers beside you. Some conversations are longer than others and some peers stand out from the crown with their absurdness. But above all, these characters and their stories are so human: strangers that you'd like to visit with again sometime soon.

— Christy

Surreal peepholes into a slightly off-kilter examinations of what it means to be on display. You'll have to re-read a couple of these a few times before you believe the strange journey they send send you on: mediation via falcon, a house filled with grief, a sweater for a car. Brief, beguiling, and fun.

— Luis

Summer 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List

“These sentences zag when you expect them to zig. And don’t get me started on the zigging. Trying to recount any of these stories will take way longer than it will to read them; they are masterworks of compression that unfold into sagas of falconers and an air conditioning museum. But they also finish with tidy endings, landing the dismount from each impossible trick with a word, a gesture that somehow makes sense of the fantasia preceding. Oh, yeah: and it’s really, really funny.”
— Benjy Caplan, Green Apple Books & Music, San Francisco, CA


In this collection of compact fictions, Nicolette Polek transports us to a gently unsettling realm inhabited by disheveled landlords, a fugitive bride, a seamstress who forgets what people look like, and two rival falconers from neighboring towns. They find themselves in bathhouses, sports bars, grocery stores, and forests in search of exits, pink tennis balls, licorice, and independence. Yet all of her beautifully strange characters are possessed by a familiar and human longing for connection: to their homes, families, God, and themselves.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781593765866
ISBN-10: 159376586X
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Publication Date: January 14th, 2020
Pages: 128
Language: English