Little Nightmares, Little Dreams
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Rachel Simon’s debut, originally published in 1990, is a collection of stories about the struggle for love and intimacy, told from the point of view of adolescent girls, young mothers, and elderly women. Some are rooted in reality, others in magical realism, with tones ranging from serious to comic, sunny to dark. Throughout, Simon employs such a wide range of voices—sweet, shrewd, wistful, irascible, vulnerable, sensual—the Philadelphia Inquirer hailed her as “a literary ventriloquist.”
Among the highlights are “Little Nightmares, Little Dreams,” in which an elderly couple enters the unknown by trying to dream the same dream; “Paint,” in which a runaway-turned-artist’s-model provokes protests after her naked body becomes the canvas; “Afterglow,” in which a plucky thirteen-year-old playing hooky is held hostage by an escaped convict; “Grandma Death,” in which an overbearing grandmother can’t seem to go anywhere without someone dropping dead; and “Better Than A Box of Dreams,” in which a maid irritated by her boss’s dream therapy sessions dreams her own fondest wish back to life.
Little Nightmares, Little Dreams was presented on NPR’s Selected Shorts and the Lifetime program The Hidden Room. “Paint” and “The Speed of Love” were adapted by the Arden Theatre Company, and “Better Than A Box of Dreams” for InterAct Theatre, both in Philadelphia.
This 2014 ebook rerelease includes four previously uncollected stories. It also includes a new introduction that tells the story of the book’s astonishing path to publication, reveals the inspiration behind several stories, and offers wisdom from a seasoned writing friend that writers everywhere will treasure.
“Dazzling . . . Each story is more creative than the last. . . . An incredible debut.” —The Pittsburgh Press
“A brilliant tapestry of stories . . . Virtually no manner of relationship escapes this prizewinning author’s astute eye and tender wit. . . . Simon is an expert at weaving popular culture into short, personal narratives studded with analogy and laced with meaning.” —Booklist
“A literary ventriloquist . . . Without an agent, tiny Rachel Simon of Abington snared a big New York publisher for the debut collection of her stunning, darkly celebratory short stories. They’re unforgettable.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Very original . . . Perfect pitch . . . A very talented and very promising writer.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Raffish and spooky stories . . . She delivers on her promise like a veteran.” —San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
“Distinctive, often arresting . . . With a dark humor that often plunges her characters into surreal circumstances, she evokes a Blue Velvet type of skewed Americana. . . . All the stories are as much about the startling interior life of the mind as they are about the superficiality of order and reason. An impressive new voice.” —Publishers Weekly
“Rachel Simon’s stories are quick-witted, sexy, and full of heart. They grab your attention and keep it. This is a remarkable book.” —Bestselling author Charles Baxter
“Sweet and strong, weird and funny, Little Nightmares, Little Dreams is a very good book.” —Bestselling author Mary Gaitskill
Rachel Simon is a New York Times bestselling author best known for the memoir Riding The Bus With My Sister (2002), adapted for a film by the same name, and the novel The Story of Beautiful Girl (2011). Little Nightmares, Little Dreams was her first book. Rachel Simon lives in Delaware.