With dark humor, the recurring characters in Roberta Allen's stories see themselves and others through distorting mirrors. The pain of never quite connecting is thrown into shadow as they go about their everyday lives and try to recapture their youth.

“A writer with an original style, she knits language toward finality, with implications beyond her stories and into the general fate of the world.” Michael Silverblatt, KCRW Bookworm

“I love this book. The writer is always visible as one of the characters, trying to sort out reality and memory. She keeps collapsing her own life into her stories and in doing so creates a wonderful picture of the way our minds actually work. Everything merges and the act of writing and remembering is the real subject here.” Laurie Anderson

“These stories depict a world of aging professionals two hours north of New York City who’ve stayed too long at the party. Having moved from Manhattan, they’re marooned in their quaint towns. Roberta Allen’s short, sharp, dreamlike prose captures the oddness of this bardo-state with all its beauty, ambivalence and pain.” Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker

“Roberta Allen writes prose that sings. When that perfect pitch is coupled with her astute vision for the strange and comic business we call life, the result is The Princess of Herself: a brilliant book of stories.” Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blazing World

The Princess of Herself peekaboos narrative until it lands where? You never know. Filtered through a guest who sees it all, the stories, sometimes deliciously vicious, entertain with great sophistication. Great fun, a dazzling wit.” Terese Svoboda

“Roberta Allen’s sharp, jarring stories are bitingly honest and funny as hell. These sixty-ish characters grapple with messy pasts, simmering rivalries, and longings both sexual and transcendent. Rarely has anyone written so frankly about aging, and the ways we create our own past.” Dawn Raffel, author of The Secret Life of Objects

Roberta Allen is the author of nine books, including three collections of short fiction, The Traveling Woman (Vehicle Editions), Certain People (Coffee House Press) and The Princess of Herself (Pelekinesis); a novella in short short stories, The Daughter (Autonomedia); a memoir, Amazon Dream (City Lights); the novel The Dreaming Girl (Painted Leaf 2000, Ellipsis Press 2011); and several writing guides. Allen was on the faculty of The New School for many years and has also taught at Columbia University. She was a Tennessee Williams Fellow in Fiction and a Yaddo Fellow. Her conceptual art, exhibited internationally, is held in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

More information can be found at