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Debut Story Collection
Named on Today Show

Adam Haslett's debut story collection, You Are Not a Stranger Here, was selected as the second installment of the "Today Book Club," named, oddly enough, by the king of book club dissent himself, Jonathan Franzen, who received 10 minutes of an extra dose of fame in the Fall of 2001 when he sniffed at the Oprah Book Club stamp of approval on his novel The Corrections, which since went on to win the National Book Award.

NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer interviewed both authors on August 5th and the publicity should boost sales for Haslett's collection of nine stories which hit the shelves in July 2002, published by Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday, a division of Random House.

Haslett is a former student of Franzen at Swarthmore College and an MFA graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Currently, the 31-year-old is a student at Yale Law School and plans a novel next. His writing is dark, yet humorous at times, and the story which garnered him the debut book deal after it ran in Francis Ford Coppola's quarterly literary publication Zoetrope: All Story -- "Notes to My Biographer" -- is nothing short of brilliant.

According to publisher Random House, Haslett's You Are Not a Stranger Here is the first short story collection ever chosen by a major book club.

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UPDATE

Haslett was one of only 11 New Yorkers chosen by New York Magazine (and the only choice in the fiction category) for the 2002 New York Awards that aim to name those who "not only gave their best but also brought out the best in New York." Jay McInerney writes in the magazine that with the You Are Not a Stranger debut, "Haslett arrives from out of nowhere sounding like a master," and continues the praise, asking, "How many lives has this guy led? Is he the love child of William Trevor and Eudora Welty?"

You Are Not a Stranger Here
Praise from the back cover:

"Adam Haslett is a wonderful rarity: an old-fashioned young storyteller with something urgent and fresh and fiercely intelligent to say. Haslett's great gifts as a writer - his fearlessness in particular - are a great gift to the reader. You're likely not only to love his stories but to feel stronger for having read them."
-- Jonathan Franzen
RELATED LINKS
Read "Notes to My Biographer."

"Winfrey Rescinds Offer to Author for Guest Appearance" by DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK for The New York Times. (requires free NYTimes membership)

Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections.

Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope: All Story, anthology including Haslett's "Notes to My Biographer."

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