$15.95 paper, 200 pages
Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected
by Hilary Masters
Winner of USABookNews.com
Best Books of 2006 in the Fiction/Short Stories Category
Winner of the Devil's Kitchen Reading Prize
Silver Medalist, Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), short
Bronze winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, short
The voice in Necessary Lies and its speaker's
clarity of vision are implicit in almost every page. I hear this voice. The
wit, in all the senses of that word, that impels the different narratives
creates an immediate intimacy with the reader. This is a wise, contemporary
intellect that assesses the hard facts of our time as well as the trivia
sometimes taken for hard facts.
deeply felt, remarkably alert, and powerfully realized, the stories in
Necessary Lies are all about finding the truth. Ms. Bakken's storytelling
turns the clumsiness of human need into remarkable grace.
Necessary Lies is a beautiful, wise,
satisfying collection. Packed with resonant details, sensitive evocations
of tangled love, and powerful explorations of secrecy and evasion, these
stories are irresistibly absorbing.
— Joanna Scott
Ms. Bakken sings a
beautiful song in this book. She sings of the closeness and strangeness of
families, of the love between sisters—on
that she's particularly moving—and the push and pull of lovers locked
in a sexual passion they don't always understand. Also, I've rarely seen
maternal longings written in such insight. She does all this with a kind of
tender wit, that's sometimes laugh-out-loud funny with an undertone of
sadness. This is an extraordinary debut. I predict that Kerry Neville Bakken
is a writer who's here to stay.
exploration of life's bookends makes for an auspicious first outing.
...Her stories are simple, straightforward American fiction that
works--making Necessary Lies a delight and something of a
—Los Angeles Times
The stories evoke compassion and
sadness, aching laughter. Bakken will give us many fine books because she
has the patience to carefully and faithfully describe life as people really
Bakken's collection is a fully
realized introspective look at the human condition that provides deeply
satisfying stories while compelling a critical examination of the way we
In her debut short story collection,
Necessary Lies, Kerry Neville Bakken skillfully navigates familiar
infertility, broken homes, death, adultery—without guiding us down the old,
familiar paths....Kerry Neville Bakken has a gift for fiction.
—American Book Review
Kerry Neville Bakken teaches at Allegheny College and lives in Meadville,
Pennsylvania, with her husband and two children. Her stories have appeared in
Glimmer Train, StoryQuarterly, and Cimarron Review. After growing up
on Long Island, she earned degrees from Colgate University and the writing
program at the University of Houston. Necessary Lies is her first book.
Read more about Kerry Neville Bakken at her