One More Year, by Sana Krasikov, is a collection of 8 short stories covering the contemporary immigrant experience of Eastern Europeans. (But they're not even a little bit like Bezmozgis, if you're wondering, if that's all you know about Eastern European immigrant stories; he's much funnier. Yet I mention it.)
The stories are all rather depressing, with themes of dislocation, of disconnectedness between people's hopes and their reality. Krasikov says they're love stories, and they are, but of a tragic kind, more about loneliness, a yearning for a proper love story.
Every review I come across offers up a different favourite story, which is the nice thing about a collection, and about reading people's opinions on them — to see how the different expressions of these themes relate to varied readers.
I'm not a big fan of short stories in general, and I'm not entirely sure why, but they can — and these do — offer poignant and sharp observations. The last story, the longest of the lot, was dissatisfying only in that the cast of characters was so interesting, I'd've liked to know them in novel length.
Review: "Most of the women in these stories are lonely and needy and allow themselves to be betrayed and neglected by men they cling to because they fear being alone."
Stories available online
"Companion" — my favourite, and winner of an O Henry Award.
"Maia in Yonkers."
"There Will Be No Fourth Rome."