July 8, 2021

Clare Sestanovich

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome writer and New Yorker editor CLARE SESTANOVICH for a discussion of her debut story collection, Objects of Desire. She will be joined in conversation by ANNIE BISHAI, Assistant Editor at Knopf and editor of Objects of Desire.


A college freshman, traveling home, strikes up an odd, ephemeral friendship with the couple next to her on the plane. A mother prepares for her son’s wedding, her own life unraveling as his comes together. A long-lost stepbrother’s visit to New York prompts a family’s reckoning with its old taboos. A wife considers the secrets her marriage once contained. An office worker, exhausted by the ambitions of the men around her, emerges into a gridlocked city one afternoon to make a decision.

In these eleven powerful stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women’s lives, from the brink of adulthood to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse. Tender, lucid, and piercingly funny, Objects of Desire is a collection pulsing with subtle drama, rich with unforgettable scenes, and alive with moments of recognition each more startling than the last—a spellbinding debut that announces a major talent.

About Author(s)

Annie Bishai is an Assistant Editor at Alfred A. Knopf, where, in addition to Clare Sestanovich, she has worked with authors including Valeria Luiselli, Nell Freudenberger, Julia Phillips, Barry Lopez, Diane Keaton, and Michelle Zauner. She’s delighted to be back at the Harvard Book Store, where she was a bookseller, book-machine operator, and event staffer from 2015-2017.

Clare Sestanovich is an editor at The New Yorker. Her fiction has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewHarper's, and Electric Literature. She lives in Brooklyn.