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“Give me unlikable narrators and holographic selves, remembered through strange artifacts: Bob Ross Chia Pets, talismanic jars of tonsils, oversized alligators. Give me Claire Hopple's epistolary novel, where formal gestures towards intimacy are undermined by the content. Each chapter is addressed to someone (coworkers, old friends, former neighbors, family members, strangers, the speaker, herself); intimacy collides with estrangement to alienate what it seems to draw near. With one foot on the sustain-pedal of second-person address, Hopple's voice is stereoscopic, conversational, baroque, displaced by questions of power and perspective. What do we know about shared experiences and closeness? What is friendship in collapsed contexts? What is "witness" when our own take is the primary allegiance? Color me haunted, disturbed, and thoroughly fascinated.” — Alina Stefanescu, author of Ribald


"Written in prose that’s poetic and rambling like a Bob Dylan song, IT'S HARD TO SAY is inhabited by characters you’d swear you’ve met before: too strange to be fictional and too funny to resist recounting to a friend." — Shannon McLeod, author of Whimsy


"Claire Hopple writes with such concision and style, I had to scrape my jaw from the floor after reading it's hard to say. It's hard to say just how good this little book truly is without sounding hyperbolic, but I'll try. It is great." — Troy James Weaver, author of Temporal


"Acerbic, observant and wise, Claire Hopple makes magic with the flash epistolary form, translating the experimental into an emotionally affecting, lovely book." — Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of White Dancing Elephants, a PEN/ American Bingham Prize finalist.

it's hard to say

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