The collected worlds of Pretend We Live Here prove how rare it is for queerness, rather than straightness, to be taken for granted as the accepted norm ... Hudson’s visceral prose needles into the reader’s veins, especially when she’s writing about yearning, which her adult characters feel just as urgently as her adolescent ones ... Here, as elsewhere in Pretend We Live Here, Hudson captures the way we feed our obsessions—those metaphorical lion cubs with whom we decide to live—as we do our best to pretend that one day they won’t tear us limb from limb.
Pretend We Live Here is a collection about unrequited connections. Through every story we see someone reaching out for more, but nothing seems to ever reach back. There is a deep emotional connection to the human condition ... It’s a rarity that you’ll read a book and every character and their actions coincide with reality so seamlessly, but Hudson achieves this with ease ... Pretend We Live Here is an amazing feat, but Genevieve Hudson makes it looks so effortless. When writing comes off as simply as this, people assume it must have been easy to write; and while I don’t know what her process is, I’d wager she sat with every moment in the stories included. I’m sure she meditated on every single sentence and word because nothing is out of place. This might be the closest thing to a perfect book that I’ve read in quite a while. It doesn’t matter who you are, I’m confident you’ll find something worthwhile in Pretend We Live Here.
Genevieve Hudson’s debut short story collection, Pretend We Live Here, is the kind of book that makes you see yourself and the world a bit more clearly ... there’s something truly joyful in the casual diversity of the book’s universe, the way it unfolds a world of boundless possibility ... Hudson’s writing is taut yet evocative, with an utterly convincing sense of place ... It is generous, but pulls no punches in exposing people’s dishonesty and self-delusion, crackling with a wry humor throughout ... It’s not just the diverse cast of characters that makes this collection feel timely and makes its readers feel seen–it’s also the way current concerns are interwoven into the stories ... Pretend We Live Here is a confident collection, its fifteen stories encompassing an impressive breadth of voices and themes ... Pretend We Live Here is collection rare and precious as sighting a white wolf–a must read.