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The Feminist Press at CUNY

I'll Give You a Reason: Stories by Annell López (Paperback)

I'll Give You a Reason: Stories by Annell López (Paperback)

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Fiction - Short Story Collection - Women - Hispanic & Latino - African American & Black


The vibrant stories in I’ll Give You a Reason explore race, identity, connection, and belonging in the Ironbound, an immigrant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey.

A young widow goes on her first date since her husband’s death and finds herself hunting a bear in the woods with a near stranger. An unhappy wife compares her mother’s love spells and rituals to her own efforts to repair her strained marriage. A self-conscious college student discovers a porn star who shares her name and becomes obsessed with her doppelgänger’s freedom and comfort with her own body.

Annell López’s indelible characters tread the waters of political unrest, sexuality, religion, body image, Blackness, colorism, and gentrification—searching for their identities and a sliver of joy and intimacy. Through each story, a nuanced portrait of the “American Dream” emerges, uplifting the voices of those on its margins.


Annell López is a Dominican immigrant. She is the author of the short story collection I'll Give You a Reason, winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, forthcoming in 2024 from the Feminist Press. A 2022 Peter Taylor fellow, her work has received support from Tin House and the Kenyon Review Workshops and has appeared in American Short Fiction, Michigan Quarterly Review, Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. López is an Assistant Fiction Editor for New Orleans Review and just finished her MFA at the University of New Orleans. She is working on a novel.

" I'll Give You a Reason thrums with richly drawn portrayals of Dominican immigrants rarely visible in our society. Annell López makes us see these complex, tough women and girls in their full humanity. Even as they chase an elusive American dream, these characters fight back in the ways they know how. And we can't help but love them for it. An arresting, vital debut." --Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According to Fannie Davis

"Through these elegant, poetic, and often devastating short stories, López explores both the profoundly familiar and the strange in everyday immigrant and working-class American life. I'll Give You a Reason is a rare page-turner of a collection: startlingly sensitive, oozing with compassion, and full of both gentle and explosive revelations about human nature, forgiveness, and the grace we sometimes fail to offer ourselves. I couldn't put this extraordinary book down." --Nancy Jooyoun Kim, author of The Last Story of Mina Lee

"'Girls like me don't build castles out of sand, ' one of Annell López's characters in her short-story collection, I'll Give You a Reason, tells us. This strong and assured sense of voice dominates throughout this simmering collection--in characters that are as different as night and day. Full of spunk and insights that sneak up on you with prose as clear and sharp as laser surgery, López possesses an uncanny ability to get inside the heads and hearts of all the players --opponents and allies alike--in stories about immigration, sexuality, gentrification, and that ever-elusive American dream." --Cassandra Lane, author of We Are Bridges

"There's a sharp and captivating voice throughout each story and character navigating identity, gentrification, colorism, and much more through the immigrant lens. This unique voice echoes the type of storytelling that captivated me in my youth and which made me long for more of its kind." --Lupita Aquino, book influencer

"The stories that comprise I'll Give You a Reason by Annell López are some of the finest I've read: they are humorous, sad, joyful, and, most importantly, filled with humanity... For fans of Carmen Maria Machado, Jamel Brinkley, and Mariana Enriquez, this is a book for you. I'll Give You a Reason solidifies Annell López as not a writer to watch, but a writer for whom you will be waiting anxiously for her next master work." --Morgan Talty, author of Night of the Living Rez

"Through this prismatic and powerful collection, López invites us into a Newark of the mind, where, with her characters, we can drink beside the Passaic, throw bottles at abandoned warehouses, kiss our neighbors, shovel snow. Writing with burning intensity and a command of the form, López proves herself to be a major new talent." --Morgan Babst, author of The Floating World

"In I'll Give You a Reason, you'll find the ways that women skirt around or immerse themselves in grief. The collection captures the malaise of life when you can no longer predict what's ahead of you. " --Ivelisse Rodriguez, author of Love War Stories

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