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Doll Palace

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In this brilliantly rendered debut collection, Sara Lippmann draws the reader into the intimate lives of characters seeking connection beyond their scripted worlds. She captures the beguiling transformation from child to adult with humor, heartache, and desperation. From grieving mothers to fathers adrift, old flames to restless teens, isolated characters in Doll Palace ar ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published September 13th 2014 by Dock Street Press (first published September 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
big fat bias alert: i wrote it.
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb collection. My review at The Lit Pub blog:
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
EXCERPT FROM MY FULL REVIEW COMING LATER THIS SUMMER FROM SUNDOG LIT: "Doll Palace (Dock Street Press, September 2014) by Sara Lippmann is a simple book, a simple collection of stories. There are no quotation marks and the feelings are equally bare. Lippmann is one of those authors who can get away with both seriousness and hilarity in the same sentence. The stories are sad and funny, heavy with lightness, stark with ferocious, bubbling paddling under the surface."
Pat Pujolas
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I first heard this author read at a bar in Boston two years ago. And I remember thinking at the time, how could someone so young and petite, be so fierce, so polished, and so profound? Now after reading her first collection, I will add: and with such consistency. This author will rivet you in the details, then shatter your heart with a sentence (in the best possible way). For criticism: I felt some stories were stronger than others, and I wish the editor had recommended killing a few more darlin ...more
Wendy Ortiz
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this 6 out of 5 stars. So much to love & enjoy here.
Martin Ott
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Doll Palace balances carefully between the past and present with stories that straddle what's important in life. Read this. Sara Lippmann is a writer to watch.
Robert Vaughan
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You will want to read this entire riveting collection of short stories in one day- but trust me, don't! Savor them, each one is a jewel! Or plow through them with your heart racing, and then re- read them with delight. I plan to! Either way, please get this book... NOW!
andrew y
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
can you remember the last time you couldn't stop reading a book until you had finished it?
i couldn't until today
Christopher Allen
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Watch for my review at Necessary Fiction in September. Until then, wow, just wow. Can't wait for you to read this.
Meg Tuite
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lippmann is a rare phenomenon. Her short story collection, Doll Palace (Dock Street Press), is 23 stories that deliver a masterful, lethal microcosm/macrocosm of inhabiting these awkward bodies we grapple around in. Sibling and parental protection/embarrassment, the strange shelter and regrets of sex, marriage, kids, abortion, and ceaseless encounters that perpetually cling to the amalgam of memories. We sculpt our isolated realities through societal cavities forced or throw upon us.

To ca
Quentin Paquette
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"What's past is prelude," we've all heard, but might not agree as to what is meant. The leads in all these stories are spun by the stress that finds the key already in the lock, turns, opens them up. What is released, though delivered of the past, bares its teeth as surprise and takes them aback. Each of them is challenged to reconsider what they think about who they were, who they are, and who they may become. It is the shock of the familiar that they struggle with, the disorientation that come ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Although you will be continually surprised by all the original smilies and metaphors - the primary technique in these stories is metonymy achieved with an avalanche of concrete details. This is maximalist writing to the max and quite impressive. These are also voice driven stories, stories where you are inside the character and looking out. A strong example of character and language driven short fiction. If you don't read a lot of short fiction, I think this collection would blow you away, perha ...more
Joe Kapitan
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm no stranger to Sara Lippmann's writing, having read a few of her stories around the internet (several included in this book), but I wondered if she could maintain such high quality across an entire story collection. Probably shouldn't have wondered.
Many of the stories here focus on women, of different ages, struggling with their circumstances. The insights into the female psyche are abundant, deep and entertaining. And I must say that Dock Street Press makes a beautiful book.
4 stars =
Alice Kaltman
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this story collection. Lippmann is a master at mining the deepest reaches of human nature with a deft economy of words. Each story has its own quirks, filled with flawed and believable characters, settings you would never have imagined. The title story, for one. I gobbled each one of these miniature worlds, felt queasy after some, but in a really delicious way. I can't wait to read more from this brilliant writer.
Emily Bertholf
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
These twnety-three quirky, sardonic tales chock full of carnivals, confectioneries, clowns, dancers, break-ups, and home purchases gone wrong prove no matter what stage of life these characters find themselves in, they're never too old for growing pains and that old, familiar itch of loneliness. Sometimes unsettling, always amusing, the pages of this book nearly turned themselves.
R.L. Maizes
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection. The stories are powerful and surprising and told with perfect authority. Can't wait to read more by Ms. Lippmann.
Meyers Cooper Debbie
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
What is in a name? Usually I try to decipher how the title of a book will reflect in the writing. With the exception of a short story sharing the title, there is little that resembles dolls or palaces. Each story shows a brief moment in someone's life - usually female but not always. I'm not sure what message Sarah Lippmann was trying to share with the readers. Maybe she wanted to show that we never know what really happens in the lives of others. I've had a sheltered life when compared to some ...more
Steve Karas
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Doll Palace is such a brilliant collection, I really can’t believe it’s Sara’s debut. In each of these twenty-three totally fresh stories, she demonstrates her gift of being able to write pieces that are often witty, sad, strange, and thought-provoking all at once. On top of that, the stories are beautifully written. There are so many great, sharp lines, and I’ve always been a sucker for great lines. She gives us lines like, “I get it, we’ve got to live, but a grown man on fudge is one sick glimpse of ...more
Elisa Winokur
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Through sharp, careful, raw and elegant prose, Sara Lippmann captures the very real and unsettling struggles and emotions of her very real and unsettling characters--characters who leap right off the page and stay with you long after you've finished each story, characters you want to hold and protect. She navigates through difficult terrain, often exposing the true ugliness of humanity and conflict, with honesty, elegance, beauty and grace. She nails it. Bravo!
Lisa Gilinsky
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I HIGHLY recommend Sara Lippmann's debut collection. She brilliantly takes us to uncomfortable, often dark places, her characters refreshingly original. There were several times when I fell over laughing, thoroughly enjoying Lippmann's poetic wit and then many other times I was driven to tears. Lippmann's writing is exquisite, she is one to watch!
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Sharp. Dark. Interesting. Entertaining. At times, I found myself disappointed at the end of a story because I had quickly become invested in a character and had to slash ties and move on to the next short story. By the turn of the next page, I found myself sucked into a new world and new characters.
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The language is so concise but speaks volumes. You feel each main character's heightened emotions, you feel unsettled by the events, and grasp to comprehend a character's actions right there along the protagonist. Great characters in literally every story contained in this collection. I'm definitely eager to read more from Sara Lippmann.
Jen Knox
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sara Lippmann's writing is precise and potent. Each story grabs, pulls, and provides and up-close, unabashed glimpse of a character's life. The rhythmic language is to be commended, as are smart portrayals of characters who live fully and question later. A smart, rhythmic, resonant book.
Amanda Miska
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sara is a master: I laughed, I cried, I squirmed in my seat. This is one of the best story collections I've read in a long time. Absolutely brilliant.
Joey Gremillion
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't begin to put into words how outstanding Lippmann's short stories are. Dark and lovely, bizarre and brilliant. KUDOS!!! If you're an Englander, Papernick or Poe fan, this book is for you.
Erika Dreifus
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read a complimentary advance digital copy in preparation for author Q&A.
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The kids aren't alright.

More -
Al Kratz
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Working on a review of this awesome collection for Alternating Current.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoying dipping into it. Light reading.
Michelle Ross
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! Lippmann's writing is cutting and so, so smart.
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Sara Lippmann’s debut collection, DOLL PALACE (Dock Street Press) was long-listed for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She was the recipient of an artist’s fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and her stories have appeared in Slice Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Front Porch, Joyland, Midnight Breakfast, Burrow Press Review and elsewhere. She teaches ...more
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