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Release Date:
Feb 7th, 2017
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Best Worst American Preorder

February 7, 2017

Imaginary countries. Real countries. The best and worst of both in short, cutting, refreshing stories.

These are the best Americans, the worst Americans. In these stories (these cities, these people) there are labyrinths, rivers, wildernesses. Voices sound slightly different than expected. There’s humor, but it’s going to hurt.

In “On Paradise,” a petshop manager flies with his cat to Las Vegas to meet his long-lost mother and grandmother, only to find that the women look exactly like they did forty years before. In “The Spooky Japanese Girl is There For You,” the spooky Japanese girl (a ghost) is there for you, then she is not.

These refreshing and invigorating stories of displacement, exile, and identity, of men who find themselves confused by the presence or absence of extraordinary women, jump up, demand to be read, and send the reader back to the earth changed: reminded from these short stories how big the world is.

Nate Corddry read “Customer Service at the Karaoke Don Quixote” on Selected Shorts.
Cristin Milioti read “Best Worst American” on Selected Shorts.

Praise for Juan Martinez’s stories:

“A little out of the ordinary…. He takes this very unnatural environment and changes it into a landscape.”
— Hannah Tinti

“I loved it.”
— Etgar Keret

About the Author

Juan Martinez was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and has since lived in Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. He now lives in Chicago with his wife, the writer Sarah Kokernot, and their son and two cats. He’s an assistant professor at Northwestern University. His work and has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, Ecotone, Huizache, TriQuarterly, Conjunctions, the Cossack Review, the Santa Monica Review, National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts, Norton’s Sudden Fiction Latino, and elsewhere. Visit and say hi at

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