Karin Lin-Greenberg is a Chinese American, award-winning writer whose debut collection, Faulty Predictions, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and won gold in Foreword Reviews’s INDIE Award in the Short Story category. Her second collection, Vanished, was the winner of the Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize in Fiction. She is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in publications including The Southern Review, Story, and Boulevard. Her short story “The Sweeper of Hair,” the basis of this novel’s opening chapter, was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Literary Award and was published in the Chicago Tribune. Lin-Greenberg is an associate professor in the English Department at Siena College in upstate New York.
About You Are Here
"Lin-Greenberg's web of characters illustrate the complex lives of ordinary people." —Time
As a once-bustling mall prepares to shut its doors for the final time, the residents of an upstate New York town must reckon with a shocking act that forces them to reevaluate who they are in this "remarkable study of ordinary people's extraordinary inner lives" (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
The inhabitants of a small town have long found that their lives intersect at one focal point: the local shopping mall. But business is down, stores are closing, and as the institution breathes its last gasp, the people inside it dream of something different, something more. In its pages, You Are Here brings this diverse group of characters vividly to life—flawed, real, lovable strangers who are wonderful company and prove unforgettable even after the last store has closed.
The only hair stylist at Sunshine Clips secretly watches YouTube primers on how to draw and paint, just as her awkward young son covertly studies new illusions for his magic act. His friend and magician's assistant, a high school cashier in the food court, has attracted the unwanted attention of a strange boy at school. She tells no one except the mall's chain bookstore manager, a failed academic living in the tiny house he built in his mother-in-law's backyard. His family is watched over by the judgmental old woman next door, whose weekly trips to Sunshine Clips hide a complicated and emotional history and will spark the moment when everything changes for them all.
Exploring how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are inextricably bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is a keenly perceptive and deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives.
"Lin-Greenberg’s web of characters illustrate the complex lives of ordinary people." —Laura Zornosa, Time
"Like Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, the charm of Lin-Greenberg’s engaging story lies in the sweetness of the characters’ everyday lives." —Becky Meloan, The Washington Post
"Charming . . . The small lies woven into a lifelong marriage, the petty resentments harbored by polite neighbors and, above all, the comic discrepancy between a character’s outer and inner life—all emerge unforced and unadorned in this multifaceted narrative . . . But the everyday reality that Ms. Lin-Greenberg so memorably creates is not easily eclipsed. Compassion and wry understatement remain her strengths, and in You Are Here she captures not only the frayed texture of suburban existence but also the turbulent emotions, immediate and long buried, of protagonists who are ultimately far more than stereotypes." —Anna Mundow, The Wall Street Journal