...the world is parsed with a charming exactitude that magnifies all its latent marvels and especially horrors — the blacker and more peculiar these stories get, the funnier they are ... Kleeman, a highly cerebral writer, is especially fascinated by the oddness of bodies ... Kleeman’s stories [are] brilliantly alive.
The stories in Alexandra Kleeman’s new collection, Intimations, both distressingly and beautifully convey a different message: there is no escape ... [Kleeman] manages to both draw us entirely into her fiction and keep us at a distance, as spectators glancing through a window or walking through the stories like ghosts able to walk through walls.
Intimations casts a philosophical eye on the short story; collections are rarely so cerebrally interlinked, with ideas — instead of character, setting, voice — as the driving connection between stories ... While hesitation and indecision are consistent themes, when mixed with the fabulist, surreal terms of many of the settings, the stories risk seeming whimsically thin, willfully strange. Kleeman’s clear ability to conjure the bizarre along with her obvious intellect can obscure her craft at times ... When Kleeman’s gift for delving into other worlds merges with characters marked by action, however, the stories excel, as in the final story in the collection, 'You, Disappearing.' Among the deluge of apocalyptic stories in contemporary fiction, this one is exceptional in its vision.