Chicagoan Adam Levin’s new book is a different type of fiction from his debut novel, 2010’s The Instructions, which clocked in at 1,030 pages and took a decade to write. A collection of ten short stories (some previously published in the likes of Tin House and McSweeney’s), Hot Pink’s longest entry tops out at 38 pages. And yet there’s an echo of The Instructions in these misfit protagonists, whose tales begin with ordinary enough families, friendships, and love interests before Levin twists the plots, taking both characters and readers by surprise. In this complex and often-tragic volume, a misplaced origami crane, a doll created to illustrate the hazards of anorexia, or a punch to the chin can change the course of life and love. Hot Pink leaves readers wondering what might be lurking nearby, on the verge of uprooting their own lives. Available March 13 from McSweeney’s; $22.
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