A Pontiac Sunfire experiences Springsteen-esque glory days; women captivate with unusual beauty; and a murderous sloth threatens a child. With plots that dive immediately into the absurd, Crerand captures the angst of existential crises, the search for meaning, and moments of depth and beauty through humor and attention to detail. This seven-story collection is funny, serious, and bizarre. (Fabulist fiction/magical realism/short stories)
“Spanning the last century with narrators aged 10 to 100, these stories reveal women struggling to fit a definition of womanhood that cannot contain them. By employing forms that break with convention in the same spirited ways her characters do, Laura Krughoff creates a world of stunning detail that examines just what people will do when expectations stifle truth. In Wake in the Night, we are reminded why we must push beyond easy categories and find new ways of understanding the roles we play.” ~ Paula Carter, author of No Relation
Brooke Larson’s essay collection Pleasing Tree explores the human relationship with the wilderness. Beginning with a Mormon-founded experiment in primitive survival, teenagers hike the Arizona desert while Larson shines light on the effects of prolonged exposure to the outdoors, to lands considered inhospitable to life. Recalling Biblical and religious sojourns, Larson maps her own travels from the desert to Salt Lake City to New York City to Jerusalem, observing the life that curls in a leaf, the bug that spews cinnamon-flavored goo, and the water that occasionally floods the desert. Her essays track the impact the often unnoticed has on the human psyche, discovering the awe upon the recognition that even the desert’s heart beats. This collection crawls with insects, communicative plants, and poetry. It pulses with blood and breath, excrement and the bodies of the living. (Personal Essays/Lyric Essays)
“I don’t know what to call these, and neither will you—protest poems or tiny prose laments? But as a speaker in one of them says, it’s not actions that are taboo, but the breaking of silences that surround them. And so, poet Rebbecca Brown sets out to smash them to pieces, all the dark unsaids rising up from soil and field, root and vine, barn and cell, blood and booze and loveless boys and girls to haunt our reading and contaminate our dreams. In equal measure, anguish and outrage, unsilenced, refuse to be anything but mouthy and here now in this strange and all-too familiar world where women give birth to bees, earth swells, and heat is heat. Downhome Americana has never sounded off as lyrical—or as brutal or tormented—as in the countless beating wings and throats of Brown’s ecstatic testaments to our sad humanity.” ~ Katharine Haake, author of Assumptions We Might Make About the Postworld and The Time of Quarantine
A devastating tornadic storm hits Alabama after erasing the state of Mississippi. Among the survivors are a distraught weatherman, a woman strapped to a dental chair, a man carrying a dead cat, and a golf-club wielding real-estate agent who encounters the undead. In this experimental novella, White’s poetic prose captures the endless trauma of catastrophe: the physical and emotional disorder, the chaotic and contingent patterns of events. Here, the reader will find no neat resolution. Life after grand-scale destruction and near-death experience is effectively another kind of cyclone: spinning and relentless, a state of free fall through dense and violent clouds.