The Brutal Language of Love: Stories

ISBN: 0375760334
ISBN 13: 9780375760334
By: Alicia Erian

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About this book

Alicia Erian, whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Zoetrope, and Nerve, casts aside traditional notions of right and wrong and conjures up situations that are at once familiar and unsettling. Her characters—flawed, brave, disarming, affectionate—inhabit the not-so-very-wide space between a good intention and a bad outcome. In “Alcatraz,” we meet a middle-school spelling champion who spends her afternoons taking baths with the boy next door. In “Almonds and Cherries,” a young woman turns an unexpectedly arousing bra-shopping experience into a short film, with ramifications for everyone around her. These surprising, provocative, and deeply resonant stories mark the emergence of a major new talent.

Reader's Thoughts


First off, I loved Towelhead. So much so that I was determined to read anything I can from this sensational writer. I'm glad to learn that this is Erian's first work, because Towelhead (her second work) is much, much better. It's not that the stories found in this book are bad, it's just that the characters seem so thin and forgettable that you're never compelled to give a damn about any of them. There weren't any standout pieces in this book to me. Wouldn't read again or recommend.


i thinks this book is awesome :)

Fenixbird SandS

After Kite Runner......all the hoopla of writing about tragic coming of age stories. Now I wish to read Alicia Erian's "The Brutal Language of Love: Stories..."Jasira is who "Towelhead," (another of Alicia Erian's books) the book-into-movie is about & what is the story? It seems to be of her coming of age. I have neither read the book nor seen the movie, not yet....but I wish to!! "I began to think that my body was the most special thing in the world. Better than other bodies, even. Not because of the way it looked, but because of all the things it could do. All the different buttons there were to push. I wanted to find out what every single one of them was. I wanted to feel as good as possible." — Alicia Erian (Towelhead: A Novel)


These are complex and interesting stories about relationships and worth reading. I highly recommend it. Each story is surprising in that the characters really come alive. Corny, I know, but that's how I felt.


much like 'towelhead', this book was brazen, graphic and uninhibited. sometimes painfully awkward, there was still a level of beauty in every story. some of them can really break your heart.


My favorite stories include the title story, "Alcatraz," and "Almonds and Cherries."


I agree with everyone else...quick read and kept my interest, but I wasn't upset when it was over. I finished this book on a 2 hour flight. Very forgettable characters and stories. I was really expecting much more from this book.


I read this book while laying on the beach, and felt like it was the perfect book. A collection of stories that are a delightful insight on sexuality. This isn't erotica, but more or less short story's with complex characters and realistic scenarios. I really enjoyed it. This book is a quick and easy read.


Alicia Erians stories are dark and sexy, full of pain and lust and the kind of relationships we're all secretly sorrow to be aware of. I loved her novel Towelhead, and have been reading her stories on forever, her heroins are filled with passion and despair but are never without hope.


i was pretty into this book for a minute, but eventually the characters seemed indistinguishable to me & i got bored.


Alicia Erian might be better known for Towelhead...but this book of shorts are funny and quirky. The characters are believable. Erian writes with an assured voice and honesty that is refreshing as it is painful.


I liked this one, too...


Quick read. Easy language. Fun and light with unique characters.

George Ilsley

A very strong collection from a writer who manages to pull off a variety of distinctive voices. Erian's characters are slightly surreal and yet still compelling. It's funny and strange at the same time. All in all, a very strong collection.


This book was a fun, quick read, but completely forgettable.

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