Skip to content

We Loved the World But Could Not Stay A Collection of One-Sentence Stories


Read It and Own It


Werewolf hairstylists. Obsessive twins. John Dillinger reincarnated. Ethiopian Nazi hunters. And the last living Pictish speaker on the planet.

These are just a few of the characters who make up WE LOVED THE WORLD BUT COULD NOT STAY (Rare Bird Books; July 12, 2022), a poignant and irreverent collection of one-sentence stories from Gary Lippman, author of the novel Set the Controls for the Heart of Sharon Tate.

Lippman, an attorney and journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, and VICE, grapples with what it means to love an imperfect world—a world filled with tales of chance and fate that are alternately funny and heartbreaking.

Praised by Laurie Anderson, Tom Robbins, and Lorraine Bracco, WE LOVED THE WORLD BUT COULD NOT STAY is no dry philosophical tome. Offering up psychedelic portraits of time travelers and taxi drivers, a wrestling match between ancient Gods, and the meaning of a mural on the wall of a Miami Beach pizzeria, Lippman deploys a unique artistic sensibility, one that combines Borscht Belt-style one-liners and surreal takes on American pop iconography.

WE LOVED THE WORLD BUT COULD NOT STAY is an imaginative flash fiction collection, a rich tapestry of human experience. And remember: if for some reason you don’t like one story, the next story is only half a sentence away.

Praise for the Book

Q & A with Gary

More About Gary