You Are Here: A Novel (Hardcover)
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As a once-bustling mall prepares to shut its doors for the final time, the residents of an upstate New York town must reckon with a shocking act that forces them to reevaluate who they are and what they want
The inhabitants of a small town have long found that their lives intersect at one focal point: the local shopping mall. But business is down, stores are closing, and as the institution breathes its last gasp, the people inside it dream of something different, something more. In its pages, You Are Here brings this diverse group of characters vividly to life—flawed, real, lovable strangers who are wonderful company and prove unforgettable even after the last store has closed.
The only hair stylist at Sunshine Clips secretly watches YouTube primers on how to draw and paint, just as her awkward young son covertly studies new illusions for his magic act. His friend and magician’s assistant, a high school cashier in the food court, has attracted the unwanted attention of a strange boy at school. She tells no one except the mall’s chain bookstore manager, a failed academic living in the tiny house he built in his mother-in-law's backyard. His family is watched over by the judgmental old woman next door, whose weekly trips to Sunshine Clips hide a complicated and emotional history and will spark the moment when everything changes for them all.
Exploring how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are inextricably bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is a keenly perceptive and deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives.
About the Author
KARIN LIN-GREENBERG is a Chinese American, award-winning writer whose debut collection, Faulty Predictions, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and won gold in Foreword Reviews’s INDIE Award in the Short Story category. Her second collection, Vanished, was the winner of the Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize in Fiction. She is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in publications including The Southern Review, Story, and Boulevard. Her short story “The Sweeper of Hair,” the basis of this novel’s opening chapter, was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Literary Award and was published in the Chicago Tribune. Lin-Greenberg is an associate professor in the English Department at Siena College in upstate New York.
Library Journal, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
Zibby's Mag, A Most Anticipated Book of 2023
Goodreads, A Buzziest Debut Novel of the Year
"Karin Lin-Greenberg’s thoughtful, empathic You Are Here [is] such a bittersweet treat." —Elle, A Most Anticipated Title of the Year
"Exceptional . . . This is a remarkable study of ordinary people’s extraordinary inner lives." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Lin-Greenberg’s masterful and understated debut novel is an engrossing, character-driven story that will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng . . . At its heart, this is a story about our ties to and interactions with others and how our communities impact our actions, influence our aspirations, and shape our identities. Lin-Greenberg beautifully translates the lives of an ordinary group of people into an extraordinary, even triumphant novel. You Are Here is sure to be a book-club favorite." —Booklist
"This novel is a community and a tour de force account of small town America. How do we survive ourselves and each other? How can we thrive instead of simply co-exist? Lin-Greenberg brings her imperfect yet perfect cast of characters to answer this very question and shows us a way. A magical book, brimming with soul." ––Weike Wang, author of Joan Is Okay
"A boy, a beauty, an elderly gardener, a failed PhD and an artist with scissors: where else could all of these characters meet but at the mall? In Karin Lin-Greenberg’s clear-eyed and heartfelt You Are Here, the failing Greenways Mall makes community out of a group of characters so fractious and real, you feel like you’re hanging out with them at the food court." —Alexandra Lange, author of Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall
“A charming and witty work that will also break your heart—a story about America, set in that most American of places: the dying shopping mall.” —Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of The Evening Hero
"With great insight and care, Lin-Greenberg chronicles the daily lives of neighbors connected to a local mall that's soon closing. You Are Here shows that times keep changing, but the American Dream persists." —Sarah Langan, acclaimed author of Good Neighbors
“In her gorgeous debut novel You Are Here, Karin Lin-Greenberg shines her magical light on ordinary characters whose lives intersect at the local mall—the most ordinary place in America—to show how remarkable and singular those lives actually are. Every page carries the author’s trademark fusion of poignancy, humor, insight, and yearning, along with the powerful reminder of how the seemingly random connections among us can lead to unexpected grace.” —Jessica Treadway, author of Lacy Eye and Infinite Dimensions
"In this beautifully affecting novel, Karin Lin-Greenberg creates a chorus of characters so fully human they come to feel like friends and neighbors. In lucid, graceful prose, she illuminates how these lives—brought together in the most banal of places, an upstate New York shopping mall—touch each other in unexpected, lasting ways. We become confidantes to their private hopes, fears, and biases, as we watch their intersecting stories blossom into something rich, complex, and larger than the sum of its parts. I’ll be thinking of these people, and this book, for a long time. " —Lauren Acampora, author of The Hundred Waters