The characters in The Princess of Herself, a fierce and darkly humorous story collection, see themselves and others through distorted lenses. Out of kilter with reality, they go about their everyday lives and try to recapture their youth.
T H E P R I N C E S S of H E R S E L F
S t o r i e s
Published by Pelekinesis Press
"I love this book. The writer is always visible as one of the characters, trying to sort out reality and memory. She keeps collapsing her own life into her stories and in doing so creates a wonderful picture of the way our minds actually work. Everything merges and the act of writing and remembering is the real subject here."
-- Laurie Anderson
"Roberta Allen writes prose that sings. When that perfect pitch is coupled with her astute vision for the strange and comic business we call life, the result is The Princess of Herself: a brilliant book of stories."
-- Siri Hustvedt,
author of Memories of the Future
"These stories depict a world of aging professionals in upstate New York, who’ve stayed too long at the party. Having moved from Manhattan, they’re marooned in their quaint towns. Roberta Allen’s short, sharp, dreamlike prose captures the oddness of this bardo-state with all its beauty, ambivalence and pain."
"Roberta Allen's sharp jarring stories are bitingly honest and funny as hell. These sixty-ish characters grapple with messy pasts, simmering rivalries, and longings both sexual and transcendent. Rarely has anyone written so frankly about aging, and the ways we create our own past."
-- Dawn Raffel,
author of The Secret Life of Objects
-- Chris Kraus,
author of I Love Dick & the literary biography After Kathy Acker
"Roberta Allen's new book of stories The Princess of Herself is wonderful. Smart, humorously melancholic, Allen's voice and tone are unusual, special. If you're looking for something to read, please consider it.”
-- Lynne Tillman, author of the novel Men and Apparitions
"The Princess of Herself peekaboos narrative until it lands where? You never know. Filtered through a narrator who sees it all, the stories, sometimes deliciously vicious entertain with great sophistication, Great fun, a dazzling wit."--
-- Terese Svoboda, author of Great
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-princess-of-herself-roberta-allen/1126445000?ean=9781938349706
Hudson Booksellers: https://www.hudsonbooksellers.com/book/9781938349706
"A writer with an original style, she knits language toward finality, with implications beyond her stories and into the general fate of the world."
--Michael Silverblatt, BOOKWORM, KCRW Radio, Los Angeles
Writing Anti-Stories: an Interview with Roberta Allen
by John Zinsser
"When we really like a book, it's often because its rhythm is similar to our own—to our heartbeat, our breathing, the way we walk. I think that's what draws us to certain writers and not to others even though we know they are great."
Roberta Allen's latest collection of stories, The Princess of Herself (Pelekinesis), offers us a lens into human distortion. In humorous and sharply clipped prose, she takes us through a landscape of characters squarely in denial of who they are. Allen's own life and career trajectory have exposed her to a variety of people, places, and modalities. Born in New York Cityto a Russian gambler father, she grew up in the Ansonia Hotel long before its rooms were converted to condos. She resided in the