Don't Cry
Mary Gaitskill

Book cover image

Narrated By: Mary Gaitskill

Duration: 8 hours and 24 minutes

What to expect

Mary Gaitskill returns with a luminous new collection of stories—her first in more than ten years.

In “College Town 1980,” young people adrift in Ann Arbor, Michigan, debate the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; in the urban fairy tale “Mirror Ball,” a young man steals a girl’s soul during a one-night stand; and in “The Little Boy,” a woman haunted by the death of her husband is finally able to grieve through a mysterious encounter with a needy child.

Each story delivers the powerful, original language and the dramatic engagement of the intelligent mind with the craving body—or of the intelligent body with the craving mind—that has come to be seen as stunningly emblematic of Gaitskill’s fiction.


Fiction: general and literary, Short stories

Listen to a sample

“[A] mind-searing, soul-rattling, gratitude-inducing collection.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“Savagely intelligent tales…Gaitskill has consistently plumbed the farther reaches of psychic extremis with power and passion.”


“Masterful…Past, present, future; heartbreak, desire, and loss—none of it is quite beyond her. Gaitskill’s prose glides lightly over unsoundable depths.”

Village Voice

“A gathering of fiercely observed portraits of cultural unease, from the Reagan years to the early days of the Iraq War.”


“Evocative yet efficient descriptions that remind you why you read in the first place…Gaitskill never loses sight of her ambition to claim her readers’ hearts…With unpretentious yet heartbreaking lines…Gaitskill owns you, and earns the right to put you through the ringer of vulgarity.”


“Gaitskill writes with visceral power…[She] commands her readers’ attention as few fiction writers can.”

New York Times Book Review

“Exquisite…Gaitskill never stops at surfaces…She believes—maybe reluctantly—in the absolute primacy of human connections, no matter what mess we tend to make of them.”

Chicago Tribune

“Intense and thought-provoking, compelling and often tragic, yet filled with a subtle magic…Gaitskill explores the spectrum of emotion: lust, greed, sorrow, hope, anger, and many forms of love.”

Los Angeles Times

“Gaitskill is a fiercely emphatic writer—her concern always how close we can get to the pith of a protagonist or relationship—and Don’t Cry is wonderfully Machiavellian in its excavation of character.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Gaitskill seems to have traveled through a lifetime of perception, moving in a progression from raw and violently sexualized to tender and regretful, with every character knowing the intimacy and exhaustion of sorrow.”

Boston Globe

“Another accomplished collection from an American original.”