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Make Me Do Things​

In eleven original, surprising and deliciously dark stories, award-winning author Victoria Redel moves effortlessly between men’s and women’s perspectives as they explore marriage, divorce and parenthood. A newly divorced mother stumbles her way back into single life. A young man and his girlfriend clean out his dead mother’s overstuffed home. A woman struggles to hide her affair from a doting husband and inquisitive daughter. A man descends into a drug-fueled dream as he imagines losing his pregnant wife to a historical, nineteenth century figure. Redel indelibly captures the ways we love, the ways we yearn and the ways we sabotage each. Throughout the collection, children struggle to make sense of the adult world’s uncertainties as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, find themselves pressed up against their own limits.

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“Each story opens a small window onto the unspoken thoughts and desires of the characters: their underbelly of wants and desires and honest opinions.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Surprising.”

BOSTON GLOBE

“The stories in Make Me Do Things zing along with great fluency and wit, unexpected time leaps, and oblique understatement, generating relentless surprise. The characters are often parents or lovers with young children, mostly hip, sometimes oblivious, who think in the argot of right now—baffled fathers, women with baby  fever, or a catastrophic lover, or perverse with child love. The children struggle with the mystery, sometimes the savagery, of the adult world, and everybody takes lessons in fear. Victoria Redel is a wonderfully talented writer whose work has the fascination of what is original.”

—WILLIAM KENNEDY

Make Me Do Things is another testament to Victoria Redel’s great gift for inhabiting hearts and delivering worlds. Her prose is poetic, precise, witty, devastating. These stories remind us of what action can do in the hands of the fearless.”

—SAM LIPSYTE

Wise, sly, sexy, always, surprising, Victoria Redels wonderful stories are a joy. This, this is life.

—CLAIRE MESSUD