by Nathaniel Bellows

In the wake of a family tragedy, Nan, a pensive young woman from rural Vermont, moves to New York City for college. As she makes her way through her new urban life, with all its dangers and excitements, she is haunted by the home she left behind, remembered with equal parts comfort and shadow. Over the course of these ten linked stories, readers come to discover a singular young woman, capable of misjudgment and mistake, but one who is strengthened by her own kind of wisdom and bravery. Nan struggles to find her place in the world, but in doing so discovers herself, her strength, and the voice with which her story must be told.


Seven of the stories in Nan were published in the following magazines: Post Road (“Nan”), Narrative (“Liars”), Redivider (“Country House”), Memorious (“Caution”), Guernica (“Forgiveness” and “Compatriots”), and Cousin Corrine’s Reminder (“Plus and Minus”).

Selected Reviews

“Nan is a gorgeously written, psychologically incisive, slyly funny book, and Nan herself is the perfect foil for the smarmy hypocrisies of the New York literary world:  a seemingly naive country girl whom one underestimates at his or her peril. Bellows is the real thing, the literary descendant of Penelope Fitzgerald and William Maxwell.”

— Kate Christensen, author of The Astral and The Epicure’s Lament

“Nan [is] a magnificently drawn Columbia University undergrad who comes from a sheltered, broken family…In these stories, she faces a world, often complex and underhanded, that she does not (at first, at least) really understand.  The beautiful imagery of the stories, as well as the slow-paced, heart-piercing development of Nan’s character, make these stories not simply delights but, I would argue, necessary reading.”

—Bezalel Stern, The Millions

“Bellows does a fantastic job capturing place, both physical spaces (you can almost read Nan’s personality through her home in rural Vermont) and temporal (being a young woman new to a city, new to college); [he] captures perfectly the lack of ease Nan feels in this [new] world.”
Fat Books and Thin Women, on the story “Nan”

“Bellows’ revealing and enlightening short story ‘Liars’ introduces Nan, a compassionate reader who tends to get lost in other people’s stories. An invitation to read unsolicited manuscripts for a local literary magazine challenges her optimism as she learns to trust her own judgment and intuition [at odds with her] bafflement about her place in the world.”

Narrative Outloud

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Nan - Nathaniel Bellows