Summer Shorts: 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging

How to Get Into the Twin Palms, Karolina Waclawiak

Length: 192 pages

Summary: Rejecting both her acquired American-ness and the culture of her native Poland, Zosia takes on a new name, Anya, and attempts a new identity to fit into her Russian neighborhood in LA.

Author: Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is Deputy Editor of The Believer.

First lines: “It was a strange choice to decide to pass as a Russian. But it was a question of proximity and level of allure. Russians were everywhere in Los Angeles, especially in my neighborhood, and held a certain sense of mystery. I had long attempted to inhabit my Polish skin and was happy to finally crawl out of it.”

Our Twitter-length review: The premise is comical, but the story is deep, as Anya bumps up against the world in an attempt to define her identity as both an immigrant and a woman.