The Best That You Can Do

Stories

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 16 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 19 Dec 2023

Talking about this book? Use #TheBestThatYouCanDo #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

Winner of the 2023 Soft Skull-Kimbilio Publishing Prize, a collection of short stories that elaborate the realities of a diasporic existence, split identities, and the beautiful potency of meaningful connections

Primarily told from the perspective of women and children in the Northeast who are tethered to fathers and families in Puerto Rico, these stories explore the cultural confusion of being one person in two places—of having a mother who wants your father and his language to stay on his island but sends you there because you need to know your family. Loudly and joyfully filled with Cousins, Aunts, Grandparents, and budding romances, these stories are saturated in summer nostalgia, and place readers at the center of the table to enjoy family traditions and holidays: the resplendent and universal language of survival for displaced or broken families.

Refusing to shy away from dysfunction, loss, obligation, or interrogating Black and Latinx heritages “If we flip the channels fast enough, we can turn almost anyone Puerto Rican, blurring black and white into Boricua.” Gautier's stories feature New York neighborhoods made of island nations living with seasonal and perpetual displacement. Like Justin Torres’ We the Animals, or Quiara Alegria Hudes’ My Broken Language, it’s the characters-in-becoming—flanked by family and rich with detail—that animate each story with special frequencies, especially for readers grappling split-identities themselves.
Winner of the 2023 Soft Skull-Kimbilio Publishing Prize, a collection of short stories that elaborate the realities of a diasporic existence, split identities, and the beautiful potency of meaningful...

Advance Praise

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO


“Powerful. . . Gautier’s flashes of familial angst and political commentary ignite each entry. This packs a stinging punch.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)


The Best That You Can Do is another triumph for Amina Gautier. These stories show off the enormous range and versatility we fans have come to expect. In recent years Gautier has been performing ever greater feats of compression and distillation. In her hands, the microfiction or short-short is a jewel box to show off the scintillations of 'ordinary' experience, especially childhood experience. This is the luminous everyday, and Gautier's talent is incandescent.”

—Michael Griffith, author of Bibliophilia and Trophy


“Amina Gautier’s The Best That You Can Do adds even more luster to her award-winning artistry. Sharp emotional focus offsets the blur afflicting people who ‘wisp into memory’ and jump from Puerto Rico to Bed Stuy to Lisbon to Chicago. The threat to Black lives staggers the souls of characters—and of readers. ‘Tears on Tap’ is a masterpiece, and the touching final stories blend with kaleidoscopic power, where intense love can rupture by the next page. But old lovers also seek one another out for a last gaze before they go blind, and the jewel-like ‘Slip’ offers a dazzling response to the pain of loss and solitude.”

—Katherine Vaz, author of Above the Salt, Mariana, Fado & Other Stories, and Our Lady of the Artichokes

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO


“Powerful. . . Gautier’s flashes of familial angst and political commentary ignite each entry. This packs a stinging punch.”

Publishers Weekly (starred...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781593767587
PRICE $16.95 (USD)
PAGES 240

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)