or as an ebook:

One of The L Magazine’s 15 Best Books of 2013; Flavorwire’s 10 Best Debut Novels of 2013 (by Jason Diamond); Reviewer’s Choice Best Books of 2013 (chosen by Ron Hogan); Slate’s Best Lines of 2013 (thanks to Dan Kois.)

Claire Cameron for the L.A. Review of Books: “I was aware this story was a game and I was worried about what might happen next. I knew from experience that children’s games aren’t as pure as we pretend, but that’s and idea I typically ignore. Consider yourself warned: Elect H. Mouse is not for the sentimental-of-heart.”

Melissa Febos for “Here is one definition of art: Using the imagination to name aspects of our experience that a literal definition fails to encompass. And doing so in a way that mesmerizes its audience, that casts a spell beyond truth’s gravity. Call it beauty. The definition of an extraordinary work of art? One that defies classification. By this definition, or perhaps any other, Nelly Reifler has created a true and extraordinary work of art.”

Matthew Love for Time Out New York: “While toying with the reader’s expectations based on well-known anthropomorphic animal tomes, Reifler does an excellent job weaving between chipper and creepy. Though short and sweet, Reifler’s book leaves a lingering suspicion that purity and worldliness may be closer together than they seem.”

Joshua Ferris for the Barnes and Noble Review: “Reifler asks: what would a book look like if it managed to recapture the surreal, ruthless, sexually confused, and deeply compassionate games children play when they kneel down and take their toys in hand? And boy does she pull it off, demonstrating great control in casting and sustaining her magic spell. The result is an attic full of wonder somewhere between a Saturday morning cartoon and a Joseph Cornell box sculpture.”





Laird Hunt for The Review of Contemporary Fiction: “The fourteen stories that make up Nelly Reifler’s terrific first collection form a kind of cabinet of fear and wonder in the mind.”

Suzan Sherman for Bookforum: “Reifler’s stories are spare with an emotional tone surprisingly subtle and restrained–a particularly admirable achievement when set against premises that are, at times, wildly absurdist. With the blackest of humor, an icy exactitude, and an ironic edge, these stories are reminiscent of Edward Gorey…a nd the diabolically psychological works of Patricia Highsmith.”

Los Angeles Times: “Spring-loaded miniatures that flirt with the surreal edges of childhood and adolescence… you’re astonished at her daring, her craft and her flair for narrative mischief.”


  1. […] writing that comes closest to what I’m feeling right now, this crisis of age categories, is Nelly Reifler’s Elect H. Mouse State Judge. The book follows a mouse who is running for office in a town populated by children’s […]