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Elise Levine for This Wicked Tongue

  • Loyalty Bookstores 827 Upshur St NW Washington United States (map)

Join us for a reading and discussion with Elise Levine for her new story collection This Wicked Tongue. She’ll be in conversation with author Philip Dean Walker.

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Elise Levine is the author of the novels Blue Field and Request and Dedications, and the story collection Driving Men Mad. Her new story collection, This Wicked Tongue, has been called “stylish” by Kirkus Reviews and named by Bustle as one of the must-read story collections of Summer 2019. Quill and Quire says that “each story in This Wicked Tongue is powerful and vivid and packed with an emotional punch to the heart.” The Globe and Mail says that “reading Elise Levine is akin to a wild ride down a dark road at night” and NOW Magazine has called her “a cutting-edge literary sensation”. Her work has also appeared in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, The Collagist, Blackbird, and Best Canadian Stories, and has been a finalist for The Best Small Fictions 2018. She has taught creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and American University, and lives in Baltimore, MD.

This Wicked Tongue is an A.V. Club Book to Read pick of June 2019.


"It’s been a long wait for fans of Elise Levine’s delicious short stories. But the wait was well worth it. Two decades ago, Levine won well-deserved raves for her utterly original debut collection Driving Men Mad. In her latest, This Wicked Tongue, the author delivers in spades.


From the get-go, Levine demonstrates a boisterous command of language and an ability to seize the reader’s attention with enigmatic characters and alluring (if sometimes cryptic) plot lines. The collection opens with “Money’s Honey,” a disturbing and nail-biting road story that leads with the killer lines “If I moved my head, the air turned dark and blurred my breathing and I felt sick, bad sick” and soon spins into an existential tale of everyday survival. In a collection that spans the gamut from diamond-tipped flash fiction to dystopian fairy tale, this is one of the more accessible works in the book." -- Toronto Star