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Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Just down the highway from Connecticut’s Gold Coast is the state’s rusty underbelly, the wretched, used-up sort of place where you might find Xhenet Aliu’s Domesticated Wild Things: the reluctant mothers, delinquent dads, and not-quite-feral children, yet dreamers all. These are the children of immigrants who found boarded-up brass mills instead of the gilded streets of Am ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by University of Nebraska Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Chris Blocker
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sa-barer
Once upon a time I loved short stories. Gradually I began to see how constraining they could be, and my love lessened. The more I fell in love with novels, particularly epic novels, the more I felt the short story was choking me, hoping to drain me of life and passion. I still read the occasional collection of short stories, and I write short pieces once in a long while out of necessity, but I haven't loved short fiction for many years.

Domesticated Wild Things may be the book that changes this f
Hannah Wiest
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This author has a serious talent for capturing the real world and the actual happenings, not just the sugar coated version of them dressed up like a four-year old pageant girl and trotted out to the judges. This piece is the little girl in a baggy t-shirt, scraped knees, and a horrible story about her family's landlord that will take years of therapy to move beyond. Though I tend to dislike the grittier side of life and story-telling, this collection is real an honest, and I really couldn't ask ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very strong collection of short stories that are widely varied in subject matter. Many of them are "dark" but not scarey as they deal with people and subjects that most readers would be somewhat uncomfortable with - characters who are struggling to survive against a deck of cards stacked against them. The book is full of interesting personalities and well developed plots that many times are not seen is short stories. It is my hope that Ms. Aliu will tackle writing a novel in the near future a ...more
T. Coughlin
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Three outstanding short stories are contained in this collection and the rest are all solid reads. I enjoyed the quirkiness and the strong voice of the characters. Unique and original. Worth a look.
A decent collection of short stories, though they are all depressing vignettes of people living in sad circumstances. The stories don't go anywhere, just give small glimpses, then end with zero closure. Honestly, it's not something I enjoyed reading, but for its type it was good, and I wasn't bored.
Bryan  John Lint
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read.

The writer shows life as it is, yet hope is always around the corner. It is well written and carefully crafted to entertain the reader with powerful emotional content.
Kathy Piselli
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the cover, a photo by Helen Levitt. She's a good choice because her subjects are Aliu's subjects. The author has a great ear for language.
Ryan Meyer
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Xhenet has quickly become a favorite and an inspiration of mine. The stories may be grim, but I got a sense of that through the title of the collection. What struck me was the realness of each story. The characters were real, the situations were real, and I was all-in. Right after she was published my class studied her works at our university, one Aliu and I both have in common. Being exposed to her style of writing opened new windows to my own styles, as well as windows to my own preferences fo ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A few glimpses into the disturbed lives of friends, neighbors and strangers. These stories are addicting, informative, bleak, and hopeful. I find the characters creeping into my life when I receive junk mail or while pumping gas. I'm left wondering what has happened to all of these people after we've read about a moment, a day, a week of their drab trying-to-make-it-by existence. I look forward to reading more!
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Flawed characters make perfect stories in Aliu's debut collection. The portraits she paints are so devastatingly real that they inspire both empathy and discomfort. Aliu's fiction hits close to to the bone and makes you yearn for home but grateful you never have to go back. Funny. Heartbreaking. Read this book.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Stories are quite grim, portraying a society that exists but is not often portrayed in books. The writer has an interesting style, ending each story in a surprising manner. But I cannot say that I enjoyed the stories.
Steve Kemp
Aug 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this at all , The stories would start off good but peter out quickly. Not worth wasting time .
Feb 25, 2014 added it
I do not usually like short stories. I like these ones.
Patricia Bjorklund
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gritty Connecticut, not the money belt. Smart, funny, arresting.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it
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Erin Post
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Nov 10, 2013
Xhenet Aliu
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
David Eiben
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Called “extremely funny and mordant” by Sherman Alexie, Xhenet Aliu’s debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her debut novel, Brass, will be published by Random House in January 2018.

Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Barcelona Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere, and she has received

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