The main pleasure of reading the book resides in its steadily accruing portrait of a sensibility--how it feels to be from Cokesville, how being from Cokesville shapes thought and perception. Local mentality can be a greased pig of a literary objective, typically slathered as it is with layers of sentiment and convention, but Monk's relatively minimalist approach gets a grip on her subject with a certain businesslike lack of fuss that is itself exemplary of the regional style.
--Carlo Rotello, --The Chicago Tribune
A sublime and deadpan debut that cocks an eyebrow and reminds us that it is never a light thing, this leaving home, though we all must try.” ―--Esquire
Bathsheba Monk is a writer I'll be talking about when I talk about brilliant new writers. Now You See It . . . is the work of an imaginative, funny, and electrically gifted storyteller.” ―--Tim O'Brien
The stories use deadpan humor to combat a sense of hopelessness and economic futility.” ―--The New Yorker
A sassy, hard-boiled book of stories, some of which will break your heart . . . Monk's Cokesville stories convincingly span more than forty years of coal dust and hard living. . . . All of the stories are touching, some profoundly so.” ―The Buffalo News
Inventive, unsentimental, Monk is a grassroots artist who honed her craft at the school of hard knocks. Her sense of place resonates in tune with her feisty sense of self.” ―--The Boston Globe
Monk is a terrific writer. . . . Like the soot in Cokesville, there is blackness to Monk's writing, but she is so funny that her fierceness sneaks up and smacks us from behind. . . . An important new voice in American fiction.” ―--The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"A pitch-perfect portrayal of class warfare...Monk is a sure-footed storyteller who comically, affectionately, poignantly maps the emotional minefields of the northeastern heartland---and the heart."--
A precision-choreographed subversion of American myths….[Everyone] is looking to swap the cards they’ve been dealt."---The New York Times Book Review
A Romeo and Juliet tale...Instead of sixteenth-century Verona, Monk gives us a twenty-first-century American community whose face is changing to the accompaniment of fear and bigotry....A rewarding read."---The Philadelphia Inquirer
Bathsheba Monk’s refreshing, beautifully written new novel, Nude Walker, is a must-read book---filled with telling and memorable images of Arab Americans. Nude Walker reveals that we are not a monolithic community, that there exists much goodness about us, a goodness that is seldom reflected in popular culture."---Dr. Jack Shaheen, Reel Bad Arabs
You know how writers are always cautioned not to have too many plates in the air? Well, Bathsheba Monk lets those plates fly and dance and whirl like dervishes and shiver like wronged lovers and spin like hilarious idiots. I found myself looking up, up, wondering how she would pull it off—and then I was reading without stopping, because I couldn’t tear myself away. Nude Walker has everything: war and conflict, sex and betrayal, old-money people and fresh-dollar newcomers, and always men and women looking for the purest kind of love, even if it burns too hot." --Susan Straight
On the one hand, I hate crime and call the cops at every suspicious car that drives by my house. On the other hand, I love crime stories. And sometimes I don't care whodunnit but I keep reading just to keep listening to the narrator tell her story. This is the case with the best cozy mysteries and especially with Bathsheba Monk's new sleuth, Swanson Herbinko, who is, let's say, Philip Marlowe's wise-cracking mouth alive and well in Kate Winslet's torso. Swanson's a chatterbox, but Ms. Monk, a born storyteller, knows how far Swanson can go with the sarcasm and the jokes and not let the voice magnetize itself and forget it's supposed to be telling a story. Excellent. Highly recommended. --Hawkins Zoave
This is French society from a decidedly American perspective. Swanson Herbinko is ballsy in that ethnic Boston Southie style and the clash of her verve with the crustiness of the French makes this story a peg above the rest. On top of that Monk has given us a great character-driven story filled with fun and heartbreak! Swanson Herbinko is a pip and I'm sure we were friends in a former life. It is a great read. I only wish there was more of it ... Oh wait there are two other Herbinko mysteries waiting in the wings! -- Jacques Gagne
Fast paced and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this. It didn't matter that I started with this book first. I have another one on my Kindle and I'm going to read that now. Bathsheba Monk is a great writer. --Susie Q.
In the summer of love, 1967, two sisters leave their blue collar home in PA to make their way in NYC. The beautiful sister, Alex, quickly finds her stride, but the homely sister fights to keep her place in Alex's charmed orbit. They both struggle to adapt to changing social mores--the pill, the draft, abortion--and the decisions they make reverberate through the next generations. Highly recommended.
A fifteen-year old girl runs away from home when her mother sleeps with a high school student on prom night.