Debut Stories From Clare Sestanovich, Brenda Peynado and Choi Eunyoung

By Kirstin Valdez Quade

By Brenda Peynado
276 pp. Penguin Books. Paper, $16.

In these 16 engaging and imaginative stories, Peynado keeps our societal ills squarely in her sights. With her bleak humor, metaphors become literal: A race of desperate and vulnerable aliens crash into Earth looking for a better life, only to be attacked and exploited by the humans who fear them; a generation of young people who leave their island home to settle in the United States sprout actual wings; citizens under an authoritarian leader find their noses and eyes and feet and voices have vanished.

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