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Sherman, Rachel 1975-

Sherman, Rachel 1975-


Born 1975. Education: Bard College, B.A.; Columbia University, M.F.A., 2003.


HomeNew York, NY. E-mail[email protected]


Short-story writer.


The First Hurt: Stories, Open City Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to various publications including Mc-Sweeney's, Open City, Post Road, Conjunctions, n+1, and Story Quarterly, in addition to the book Full Frontal Fiction: The Best of Nerve Anthology, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2000.


As a graduate student at Columbia University, short-fiction writer Rachel Sherman's thesis involved a compilation of her stories. After graduating with a master of fine arts degree, Sherman combined a number of pieces from her original thesis with several newly written stories. The collection was ultimately published by Open City Books as The First Hurt: Stories. The book's protagonists are teenagers or young adults, struggling in their own dysfunctional ways with typical coming-of-age issues. In an interview with, Sherman summarized the book's overriding theme: "The stories are about people who are going through adolescence, pursuing and avoiding sexual experiences, and having conflict in families or relationships. It is also about skin, hair, and deformities."

A contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote: "The author renders her subjects clearly and empathetically, and her airy, poetic prose is a perfect match for the brittle environments she describes." Brooklyn Rail reviewer Caroline Seklir commented: "The First Hurt is a satisfying read, despite the fact that so many of Sherman's characters are fundamentally unsatisfied. She has mastered short declarative sentences, … which manage information and nuance. To her credit, Sherman accomplishes much with few words, shaping back-story with precise moves to form a history that feels complete." Michael Miller wrote in a review for Time Out New York: "Full of great, quirky lines, the book would be a good read even if it did condescend to its flawed characters, but it doesn't." contributor Miles Clark noted: "This collection's maturity and restraint are truly impressive."



Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2006, review of The First Hurt: Stories, p. 259.


Brooklyn Rail, (November 13, 2006), Caroline Seklir, review of The First Hurt., (June 29, 2006), Miles Clark, review of The First Hurt., (November 13, 2006), author interview.

The First Hurt Web Site, (November 13, 2006).

Time Out New York, (May 4-10, 2006), Michael Miller, "Suburban Blight: Rachel Sherman Sets Her Dark Tales in Picket-Fence America."*

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