Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doll Palace” as Want to Read:
Doll Palace
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doll Palace

4.37  ·  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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Doll Palace, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Doll Palace

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Doll Palace
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
big fat bias alert: i wrote it.
Wow. Getting to this collection late, but so glad I did. Lippman's original voice, eloquent yet simple prose that takes a brave, unvarnished look at women's lives, mostly blew me away. This is one gifted writer:

"He sniffs my hair like I'm a favorite blanket. I think: If those born to love you could love you...but never reach the end of it. Beauty licks at my cheek."

"I remember the resuscitation dummies we performed CPR on in First Aid, my first summer kiss, lips stinging from the burn of ethyl a
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb collection. My review at The Lit Pub blog: ...more
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." ...more
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
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! ...more
Dec 13, 2014 added it
The kids aren't alright. And God bless the Sara Lippmann (one of our great short story writers and human beings) for knowing this is so. ...more
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. ...more
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 call thi
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
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. ...more
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
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
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 = go ge
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. ...more
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. ...more
Erika Dreifus
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read a complimentary advance digital copy in preparation for author Q&A.
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. ...more
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 glim ...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! ...more
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! ...more
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. ...more
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.
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. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...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. ...more
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart
  • The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker
  • Here Comes Trouble
  • We Ride Upon Sticks
  • Impersonation
  • A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
  • The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World
  • The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
  • Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America
  • You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know
  • Sea Wife
  • In the Country of Women
  • One Hundred Daffodils: Finding Beauty, Grace, and Meaning When Things Fall Apart
  • Tears of the Silenced
  • When I Was a Child I Read Books
  • Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America
  • What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning
  • Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Diverse voices and sparkling debuts dominate today's contemporary short story collections. For this roundup, we took a look at the...
94 likes · 10 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »