Summer Shorts: 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging

The Mere Weight of Words, Carissa Halston

Length: 108 pages

Summary: A young linguist confronts identity and relationship issues, estrangement from her father, and a sudden facial palsy, relying on words as both sword and armor.

Author: Carissa Halston is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize.

First lines: “I learn of my father’s condition online. While reading the Arts and Leisure section of the Times, I see a thumbnail-sized photo of him appear in the side bar: Notable Filmmaker Suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. I stop breathing on the exhale.”

Our Twitter-length review: With smart, inventive wordplay, Halston explores the veracity of language, and, ultimately, of love. More, please, Carissa Halston.