In this brilliantly rendered, LA Times Book Prize nominated debut collection, Sara Lippmann draws the reader into the intimate lives of characters seeking connection beyond their scripted worlds. She captures the beguiling transformation from child to adult with humor, heartache, and desperation. From grieving mothers to fathers adrift, old flames to restless teens, isolated characters in Doll Palace are united by conflicting desires and the private struggles of the heart. A girl ditches her innocence at a state fair. Strippers ponder love over a Brazilian wax. A father falls for a drug-addled babysitter. A mother ends a pregnancy. Doll Palace dwells in the harder-edged territories of human compassion, navigating the powerful, often unsettling ground rarely spoken of with awareness, care, and grace. Doll Palace is that rare collection that invites imitation but leaves a vast majority wondering how she did it.