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Awayland

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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,139 ratings  ·  152 reviews
An inventive story collection that spans the globe as it explores love, childhood, and parenthood with an electric mix of humor and emotion.

Acclaimed for the grace, wit, and magic of her novels, Ramona Ausubel introduces us to a geography both fantastic and familiar in eleven new stories, some of them previously published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Elegantly s
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ebook, 240 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Riverhead Books
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,139 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Diane S ☔
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the way this author writes, her turns of phrase, and how she inserted social and political issues into these stories, and did so seamlessly. These stories are clever, imaginative, and all surprising. Divided into four sections, each section stressing an emotion, and from the title it would be correct to assume each of these stories deal with characters who want to go away. Some on a trip, some from their lives, some from expectations and sameness, and in one story, Fresh water from the se ...more
Hannah
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I have been super in the mood for short stories and decided to start with a collection I was sure I would enjoy. Ramona Ausubel’s first collection was one of my favourite books of last year – there is just something about her brand of dark and twisted but whimsy and fantastical short stories that really works for me. And for the first three stories, I was in love and sure this would be another 5 star collection – but I didn’t love many of the stories that came after.

When Ausubel’s stories work f
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Anna
“Tragedy lends authority, especially with teenagers. There was a whole hierarchy: divorce, absent father, physical abuse, sexual abuse, dead father, dead mother, and then, at the top: dead both. It was the rarest loss, the most terrible, and the sufferer was like a precious gem, pressed by unthinkable forces into shimmering sadness, shimmering beauty.”

Awayland is a collection of 11 quirky short stories on love, loss and memory, on family and relationships, on the female body, pregnancy and m
...more
Sarah
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
1.5 rounded up

I think readers will either love or hate these stories - it's a shame I fall into the latter group. Ramona Ausubel's quirky stories are full of magical realism and whimsy, but were ultimately almost all forgettable for this reader.
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Varsha Ravi (between.bookends)
‘Tragedy lends authority, especially with teenagers. There was a whole hierarchy: divorce, absent father, physical abuse, sexual abuse, dead father, dead mother, and then, at the top: dead both. It was the rarest loss, the most terrible, and the sufferer was like a precious gem, pressed by unthinkable forces into shimmering sadness, shimmering beauty.’

Ramona Ausubel’s newest collection of stories in Awayland, published on March 6th 2018, lends itself to be wholly original, whimsical, inventive a
...more
KC
Awayland is a collection of short stories of love, loss, family, inspiration, and longing. Hopping around globally and even otherworldly, this compilation is just the right amount of ying for my yang of late. I especially loved the story called Remedy. The thing I love most about short stories is that you get a great deal of bang for your buck.
Kirsty
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: december-2020
Ramona Ausubel is one of my absolute favourite authors, but her work has proven to be rather difficult to find in the United Kingdom. When I spotted a copy of her newest publication, a short story collection entitled Awayland, for an affordable price on AbeBooks, I just had to order it. This gorgeously designed paperback has been well received, with the San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, writing that it 'astounds for its daring visionary scope and compassion.'

Eleven tales make up Awayland, a
...more
Margaryta
There is only so much quirkiness and whimsy that I can take before a book begins to test the waters with my patience and interest. There is also only so much of both that a book can have for the sake of having them before the effect begins to wear off and the shortcomings become apparent. That is how I felt about "Awayland" - while the first story "You Can Find Love Now" was short and quirky, albeit a little cliche, I gradually found it harder to enjoy and dive into the stories that came after i ...more
Angela
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This morning I woke up at 5, checked the time on my phone, and noticed my library hold was in. I read a story or two until I felt sleepy enough to snatch another hour. Then I found myself reading bits all through the day when I had a minute, always thinking "one more, then I'll switch to something else". And here we are, not quite 11 pm on release day and I've finished.

I can't quite pinpoint what was so engaging with this collection. The language is beautiful, the stories bittersweet and tinged
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༺Kiki༻
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Bay of Hungers
★★★★☆ You Can Find Love Now
★★★★★ Fresh Water from the Sea
★★★☆☆ Template for a Proclamation to Save the Species

The Cape
...more
Megan
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 This was weird...even for me and I love weird. I felt like many of the stories had no purpose. Maybe the lack of purpose was the purpose? I simply have no idea.
Jay
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ausubel is wonderfully imaginative in these remarkable strange stories. Her writing is such a pleasure - fresh, economical, unexpected, beautiful. There's a lightness to these tales even when the subjects are dark, but it's a lightness that's also luminous. There's not much more I care to say beyond the fact that I loved reading this collection of gems. ...more
Tammy Parks
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I always enjoy reading Ausubel. She is an imaginative writer who blurs the lines between reality and the fantastical. Her writing often feels otherworldly and can be quite strange, but I always find it to be beautiful and often quite emotionally affecting. The eleven stories in this melancholy collection are loosely connected by themes of loneliness, grief, and longing. Like most short story collections, I found it to be a little uneven, a combination of stories that I loved and a few ...more
Yuli
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5
Fantastic read; quick witted and sharp short stories which are fantastical yet extremely grounded in everyday emotions. For fans of modern fairy tales and dark humour.
I can’t wait to pick up another one of this author’s works!
Patricia Murphy
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Asubel is a master of the short story form, and these mythical, light/dark tales show her power to use image and imagination.
Easton Smith
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
I waited to read another book by Ausubel because I was afraid this would happen. No One Is Here Except for All of Us was such a beautiful and powerful story, a full world of sadness, joy, fear, fight, love, and loss. After reading it I looked at Ausubel's other work and didn't feel drawn to it. The subject matter seemed much lighter, almost vapid in some cases. The reviews were lackluster. But I did finally pick this one up because it felt downright irresponsible not to give such the author anot ...more
saguaros
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories, 2018
2.5 stars. I really enjoyed her previous collection, A Guide to Being Born, and was looking forward to reading this, unfortunately I did not connect as much to this one as the other one. There was something almost... unsettling about some of the stories, in ways I can't quite pinpoint. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind, but it was an uncomfortable sort of unsettling, vague spikes of existential anxiety--perhaps for the recurring themes of dying, of loss, but in a way that didn't quite enchant me ...more
Lexi Nylander
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I really enjoyed these short stories. They were intense and a little dicey but so different in tone and topic both. My favorites were "You Can Find Love Now" and "The Animal Mummies Wish to Thank the Following."

"They were alive and together and God, whichever god was theirs, had shaken this day out like a crisp sheet for them to lie down on."

"High school showed up and she started smoking and watched every meteor shower for four years."

"The problem is not her affliction, which is painless and pos
...more
Brooke
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
You Can Find Love Now (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Fresh Water From the Sea (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Template for a proclamation to save this species (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Mother-land (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Departure Lounge (⭐️⭐️)
Remedy (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75)
Club Zeus (⭐️⭐️.5)
High Desert (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)
Heaven (⭐️⭐️)
The animal mummies wish to thank the following (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Do not save the ferocious, save the tender (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Overall...3.5 rating.

Awayland is a collection of 11 stories all centered around travel and geography with magical realism woven in. I enjoyed most of th
...more
tinabel
The fantastical and mundane meet and meld in Ramona Ausubel's short collection, Awayland. These are certainly my kind of stories—a Cyclops searches for love online, a mermaid washes ashore an island bearing three shipwrecked men, a real estate listing for a house halfway between heaven and hell—ones steeped in the strange and mythological, playful, and unpretentious.

Publishers Weekly claimed these stories are for "fans of Kelly Link [and] Karen Russell," and I am inclined to agree. Honestly, I
...more
Kayla
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
3.5 stars. For me, short story collections are typically a mixed bag, and that’s how I felt about Awayland. Still, the stories I liked were very very good. Loved the writing, but not all of the stories so much.
Andrea MacPherson
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A weird, yet wonderful collection. A couple stories didn’t quite land for me, but the ones that did, DID.
Mary
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some great magical realism.
Favorite stories: “Fresh Water from the Sea,” “Departure Lounge,” “High Desert,” and “The Animal Mummies Wish to Thank the Following”
Katie
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story about the animal mummies in the Egyptian Museum just killed me.
Mitch Karunaratne
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I'm not a short story lover - so these may have been wasted on me! They were mythical, with a touch of magical realism, some felt profound, some humorous, some a little silly. Bundles of symbolism, loosely into connected and all provoking a sense of connect / disconnect to place. They were interesting, but they didn't convert me! ...more
Katelynne
I did not feel smart enough for this book
Ruth
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved most of the stories, a few were “not precisely my kind of weird,” and the last story was too disturbing for me to read, but I also have a low threshold for disturbing and dark in any medium.
Mary
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Weird and wonderful short story collections linked by themes of love and longing.
Nicole
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Thinking about this collection is like thinking about your dreams. It is hard to put into words how they make you feel and why. The writing is spot on with subtle and beautiful insights woven into strange dreamlike tales that despite their oddity feel so very possible.
Angel Hench
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice collection of short stories from a talented writer. All in all, I came away with a feeling of ennui and some nice quotes.
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Ramona Ausubel is the author of a new novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (on sale 6/14/2016) as well as No One is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Her collection of stories, A Guide to Being Born, was a New York Times’ Notable Book. He ...more

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“Love's job is to make a safe place. Not to deny that the spiny forest exists, but to live hidden inside it, tunneled into the soft undergrasses.” 4 likes
“What are you doing?" the mother asked.

"I guess I'm throwing roses," the girl said, unable to make sense of herself.”
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