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I Knew You'd Be Lovely


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About the Author

Alethea Black was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1991. Her work has won the Arts & Letters prize, been cited as distinguished in The Best American Short Stories, and appeared in nearly a dozen literary magazines, including The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, and Narrative.


"[A] sly and emotionally complex debut collection...[Black's] unflinching candor allows her to mine extraordinary revelations." -Boston Globe

"Alethea Black's characters are witty [...] without turning caustic, and remain mostly cheerful about their uncertain futures--just the kind of people with whom we want to connect." -- Corrie Pikul, Oprah online

"This debut reads like a dream, with nary a false note...a well-balanced collection filled with low-key charm and notable talent." - Kirkus Reviews

"A sense of vulnerable restlessness is betrayed by the otherwise pragmatic characters of Black's strong debut collection." - Publishers Weekly

"I Knew You'd Be Lovely is an impressive offering, from a strong new voice, of stories about life's desperation." - Joseph Arellano, New York Journal of Books

"Alethea Black is downright brilliant at capturing the restless striving for a self that we all are feeling in this parlous and unsettling age. I Knew You'd Be Lovely is a splendidly resonant debut by an important young writer." - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

" With humor, honesty and wary hope, Alethea Black's stories capture the pain and power of loving fully--and celebrate life's small astonishments amid our shared human search for the divine. I KNEW YOU'D BE LOVELY is thoughtful, entertaining and, ultimately, powerful." - Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter

"When I came to the end I wanted to read the next page - or write it, but then I realized that there was no more to be said; as in the Navajo prayer, 'In beauty it is finished.'"--N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize winning author of House Made of Dawn

"Alethea Black writes with a deceptively light touch, yet her work packs a serious punch...There's a spiritual hunger in her stories reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor, combined with a voice that is all her own." - Sharon Pomerantz, author of Rich Boy

"Reading Alethea Black's seemingly effortless prose is like slipping into water - the eerily clear kind, that shows you more than you may want to see." - Glen Hirshberg, winner of the 2008 Shirley Jackson Award

"Alethea Black can drop you into a dream with a single sentence, then convince you it's real. Her characters' best hopes and worst fears usually come to pass, often in fabulous ways, but their adventures feel inevitable and true--not only because Ms. Black richly imagines her people, but because she loves them. I Knew You'd Be Lovely is a lovely debut, with masterful prose and inspired invention on every page."
--Ralph Lombreglia, author of Men Under Water

"There's a touch of Lorrie Moore in Alethea Black's stories, but the voice is all her own. Black writes about love, yes, but she also writes about solitude--its travails and its pleasures--with a winning combination of insight and charm. I Knew You'd Be Lovely is a terrific debut." - Joshua Henkin, author of Matrimony

"Black's is a rich, accomplished and startlingly good literary presence...the 13 stories collected here are well-crafted and engaging. Black's observations on life, love and the human condition are keen and welcome." -Monica Stark,

"The title of Black's collection reflects the optimism buoying these 13 stories...[Black's] nimble wit carries her through." - Vikas Turakhia, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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