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Winner of the Gold Medal for Fiction, Florida Book Awards Publishers Weekly says of Magpies: "Barrett portrays adult lives with minimal flourishes and a powerful command of setting. Florida is electric with the tension of "all that can happen"—hurricanes, sinkholes, and a boom-and-bust history. It becomes as eerie as it is richly imagined, whether stories take place in an Art Deco building or a gas station. One of the year's finer university press offerings..." In The Rumpus, Joseph Olshan writes: "Sentence for sentence, Barrett is a superb writer. Her work brims with original ideas, questions and philosophical musings, the product of a probing intelligence and a highly literate sensibility. But what separates her from many contemporary short fiction writers is her consummate story-telling ability."

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