Oprah: Helen Phillips is a “Must-Read!”

We here at Leapfrog were thrilled to see our old friend Helen Phillips on Oprah’s list of “60 Must-Read Books of the Summer!”

Some Possible Solutions coverPhillips’ latest short-story collection Some Possible Solutions came out at the end of May to unanimous praise from critics. Publisher’s Weekly said that it was animated by “high concepts and sly emotion.” The Houston Chronicle called it “startling” and “refreshing.” A starred review from Kirkus called it “darkly absorbing.” And O Magazine observed, “Phillips’s gift is for making the peculiar seem like it is happening down the street.”

Over the course of the collection, a machine tells passersby the exact dates of their deaths, a new mother realizes that she looks exactly like every other new mother in her town, a couple struggles to raise a child in a city with next to no plants, and a bride realizes that all of her life’s embarrassments have manifested as stains on her gown. Phillips explores all these concepts, and others still weirder and more wonderful, with her usual combination of heart and flat matter-of-factness.

And Yet They Were Happy cover.” If you read Some Possible Solutions and are left hungry for more, check out Phillips’ first book, And Yet They Were Happy, from Leapfrog. And Yet They Were Happy is organized as a series of ten themes, around each of which six to ten flash-fiction stories are centered. In Kirkus Reviews’ phrase, “The story of the world unfolds in bursts of imagination It was named as a notable book by The Story Prize.