Heartbreaking and haunting, wholly inventive, the unforgettable stories of Nelly Reifler's debut collection, See Through, imagine a world where the emotional logic of our dreams and childhood fantasies rule our actions. In the title story, an educated young woman sits behind the glass of a talk booth in a peep show and becomes a different girl for each man who visits. A thorn in a little girl's scalp becomes the physical locus for her painter father's grief and helplessness following his wife's leaving in "The Splinter." "Teeny" tells the story of an awkward, solitary pubescent girl who can't bring herself to perform the simple task of feeding the vacationing neighbors' cats. In "Baby," an infant asks his mother existential questions that are impossible to answer. Nelly Reifler, winner of the Henfield/Transatlantic Review Prize for two of the stories in this collection, explores her characters' psyches and motivations with the precision of an anthropologist, detailing their physical urges and fears, and the desire, isolation, and violence that drive -- and sometimes consume -- them. But more than her desire to expose splintered personalities, Reifler plumbs the deep chasm between expectations and reality with infinite hope, warmth, and wisdom. A powerful and extraordinary collection, See Through heralds the arrival of a significant new voice in contemporary fiction.
Nelly Reifler has published stories in magazines such as Bomb, Black Book, Post Road, Exquisite Corpse, and The Florida Review, as well as the anthologies 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11 and Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge. A Rotunda Gallery grant recipient and MacDowell Fellow, she received the Henfield Prize for two of the stories in this collection. Her plays have been performed in the United States and Australia, and she currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Brooklyn.