“Enter the Town of Shadows, where noise is ‘the color of rain,’ and the self is a ‘hidden crowd.’ Indeed like shadows, the town's inhabitants are elusive—slipping in and out of mirrors, wandering down secret corridors of the mind, hiding in the spines of houses—and perpetually at risk of disappearing or being ‘deleted.’ Lindsay Stern's brilliant, urgent vignettes depict a people struggling to make sense of the limits of language and time. A dark and fascinating debut."
— Hanna Andrews, American Poet
"An answer, Stern says, is little more than a question disguised. Town of Shadows is full of startling, undisguised questions. The precision and pardoxes of its logic, mathematical beauty and metaphor illuminate only more mystery, more wonder. This is the work not of an intellectual game, but of a visceral spiritual matter that exists and disappears, exists and disappears, even on and off the page as you read. I’m humbled and look forward to her next book."
— Bonnie Nadzam, author of LAMB
"That the fresh and haunting new voice Lindsay Stern exercises in Town of Shadows is difficult to classify ought to serve only to make it impossible to ignore. Rife with arch urgency, brief density, and fruitful disregard for traditional genre bounds, Stern's debut is an important addition to the recent rejuvenation of the novella form. Through its razor-sharp technique, translucent diction, and elliptical vignette structure, Town of Shadows peels layer from layer to reveal a complex, perspicacious author who is unafraid to trouble the water where poetry and prose mingle. Stern's youth and precocity are certainly striking, but don't let them dupe you: here is a young Lydia Davis or Anne Carson unspooling only the beginning of a corpus all her own. Lindsay Stern defines the term 'one to watch.'"
— Laura Goode, author of Sister Mischief
"Town of Shadows is deeply moving, darkly imaginative and delightfully weird. It's Thornton Wilder crossed with Tim Burton and David Lynch. Stern's passion for language is infectious; she's in love with words, and by the end of this brilliant novella, you'll be in love too. A remarkable debut."
— Patricia Morrisroe, author of Mapplethorpe: A Biography, and Wide Awake: A Memoir of
“Town of Shadows is Winesburg, Ohio coated in arsenic, stippled with word math, and carved on a butterfly’s body. What Lindsay Stern creates here is throttling and gorgeous, a child’s hand grasping for a lightning storm trapped in a white balloon.”
— J. A. Tyler, author of Variations of a Brother War
“The debut of a force like Lindsay Stern's should be greeted by a bureaucratic and naked applause:
Step 1: Remove clothes.
Step 2: Read Town of Shadows.
Step 3: Stand up.
Step 4: Clap, or whistle, accordingly.
Stern’s novella solves the equation it poses in Chapter Two:
Q: 'thinking ÷ thought = ?'
A: This book."
— Paul Legault, author of The Emily Dickinson Reader