A treasure trove… Holland’s prose makes the familiar seems strange and the strange seem familiar.
These new and selected stories testify to the fact that there are still fine short story writers out there, doing the hard job of serious literary production in our age of tweets and memes…Holland’s language is challenging, elliptical, bristling with sensations and resounding with the interior lives of complicated, recognizable people.
— New York Times Book Review

Noy Holland is one of America’s great writers, and each of her previous collections has been greeted with wide acclaim. Critics have praised her exquisite prose, her exuberant characters, and the exhilarating tension of her tales.


Following the wonderful reception of her first novel, Bird, which Counterpoint published last year, we are proud to offer a gathering of 44 stories, 14 from her previous collections and 30 never before published in book form.


There is always a visceral sense of something wild and untamable beneath the surface of Holland’s stories, moving her characters through scenes and moving plots toward sharp conclusions.
— Booklist
The present is mercilessly upended and contaminated in this ardent and harrowing telling of Bird’s erotically charged, drug-addled fascination with something jungly—the Abyss in the shape of Mickey, a youth galvanized by his own implosion. Noy Holland writes with an incandescent ink.
— Rikki Ducornet, author of Netsuke and Gazelle
None of the stories in the collection are formulaic, and none of them are easy. Rather, they’re sneaky, enigmatic, revealing themselves to the reader at unexpected times, sometimes long after the last word has been read…I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like is a strong collection, and Holland’s writing is by turns hallucinatory, bizarre, and maddening in the best possible way.