Am I Alone Here?
“This book, thank god, defies any category. Although some will want to dive in randomly and skip around, reading these exquisite essays in order allows the book to develop a momentum and cumulative power that sneaks up on you and knocks you back.”
—DAVE EGGERS, author of Heroes of the Frontier
“Peter Orner’s Am I Alone Here? is a collection of beautiful essays about reading, and (as a bonus) it’s also a wry, self-examining memoir of being a child, a partner, and a parent. It will remind you of important books you’ve forgotten and make you want to read ones you haven’t, and it really will make you feel less alone.”
—MAILE MELOY, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
“In his second story collection, Orner fires jewel-toned shards of fiction into a stunning whole.” — ★ Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An ideal moment to appreciate a master of his form."
— John Williams, The New York Times
"A magnificent and moving mosaic of remarkable narratives."
— Skip Horack, San Francisco Chronicle
"Imagine Brief Interviews with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro."
— Tom Bissel, Harper's
Love and Shame and Love
“The novel gets in your head and makes itself home there. Like the James Salter of Light Years and A Sport and a Pastime, with their acutely observed domestic and sexual tension.”
— Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review
The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
“As a work of African provenance, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo will take its place alongside Saul Bellow's ''Henderson the Rain King" and Graham Greene's ''The Heart of the Matter." With this staggering debut novel, Orner has joined the first rank of American writers.”
— Steve Almond, The Boston Globe
"Ranks High among the best works of fiction about Africa ever written by an American."
— Tom Bissel, Harpers
"The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo" is one of the most gorgeous novels of the past decade. Set in Namibia, and written by Peter Orner, a young American writer, I read it twice when it first came into my hands. Once for the sheer joy of its language, and then again for its intricately woven plot.
— Alexandra Fuller, Telegraph UK
"I couldn’t help but think back to Peter Orner’s stunning, Namibia-set roman-a-clef The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. It’s a book about many things, but mostly about the exquisite boredom that prevails in this desert-riddled southern African nation. Orner, an American, didn’t mention genocide, didn’t portray truckloads of dead black bodies and only glancingly referred to AIDS. Every character – black, white and in-between – was rendered as utterly human. The book, something of a cult classic, was so superb that its (few) readers could have been forgiven for believing that it ushered in the age of Western writers detailing the African prosaic."
— Will Ferguson, The Toronto Globe and Mail
“Underground America is an excellent introduction to an ongoing social disaster. It gives a face to people in the country who are one injury, one legal problem away from ruin.”
— Oscar Villalon, National Public Radio, California Report
Lavil: Life, Love and Death in Port-au-Prince
“Lavil is a powerful collection of testimonies, which includes tales of violence, poverty, and instability, but also joy, hustle, and the indomitable will to survive.”