Department of English

Creative writing professor Peter LaSalle publishes new book of short stories, Sleeping Mask: Fictions, from Bellevue Literary Press (New York).

Mon, January 30, 2017
Creative writing professor Peter LaSalle publishes new book of short stories, Sleeping Mask: Fictions, from Bellevue Literary Press (New York).
book cover







From the early reviews of Sleeping Mask: Fictions:

"LaSalle, a literary descendent of Borges and Nabokov, writes with the inventiveness of his predecessors." —Library Journal

"Haunting and evocative . . . . LaSalle's prose is lyrical, at times rhapsodic, and his characters memorable." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Stylistically daring . . . An endlessly inventive writer. " —Shelf Awareness for Readers (25 best books released each week)

"[Sleeping Mask] features characters exploring their circumstances, expectations, and regrets and ruminating on artistry, literature, and mere existence. . . . LaSalle's dozen  multifaceted tales challenge the reader to look beyond a linear narrative, as characters are propelled toward an unraveling, bewildering void." —Booklist


From the jacket copy:

The twelve stories of Sleeping Mask, written in propulsive, fluid prose, introduce readers to remarkable characters. They include a child soldier sent to raid a girls’ boarding school, a Virginia Woolf scholar surviving cancer, a desperate writer living under fascism in a futuristic Latin America, the spirits of recently deceased college students on a tour of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and a middle-aged man transported back to his childhood, where he is led out to sea by his mother’s ghost.

LaSalle’s tantalizing "fictions" are evocative of many of the great innovators of postmodern literature . . . Through all of their stylistic pyrotechnics these stories never forsake rich characterization and plotting to probe the deepest parts of the contemporary human condition, such as the nature of erotic desire, the legacy of art and artistry, the power of grief and fear, and the horror of war and violence.

"LaSalle's [stories] transcend their particulars to show people with dreams, dilemmas, and disappointments that will move any reader.” —Jhumpa Lahiri, Harvard Review


Bellevue Literary Press page for Sleeping Mask:
Kirkus Review of Sleeping Mask:


Peter LaSalle is the author of seven previous books, including both novels and short story collections—most recently Mariposa's Song (2012) and What I Found Out About Her (2014)—as well as a collection of essays on travel and literature, The City at Three P.M.: Writing, Reading, and Traveling (2015). 

His  fiction and essays have been selected for a number of award anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Fantasy, Best American Travel Writing, Sports Best Short Stories, Best of the West, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. A Portuguese translation of his 2007 story collection Tell Borges If You See Him was released in spring 2016 by Ediçöes Mombak (São Paulo, Brazil), with a critical introduction by Rodrigo Lopes de Barros of Boston University. 

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