Drowning Lessons: Stories


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.6 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

Peter Selgin's recently published novel, "Life Goes to the Movies," was a finalist for both the AWP Award and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. He is the author of two books on the writing craft, "By Cunning and Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for Fiction Writers" and "179 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers."


A stellar collection deserving recognition. Selgin possesses a mature, complex voice and is able to conceptualize, compose, and perfect stories of brilliant diversity and tone. High emotional intelligence, empathy, courage, and intellectual curiosity fuel this collection, giving it a rare narrative fire beyond the obvious and admirable excellence of craft.

--Melissa Pritchard "author of Late Bloomer"

Selgin's stories are mordantly funny, at times desperately sad, but always full of hard-earned wisdom and subversive irony. He ranges across time and space in a way few other writers have. Drowning Lessons is a book that deserves serious attention from all lovers of American short fiction.

--Jess Row "author of The Train to Lo Wu"

Water flows through these stories, giving Selgin's characters moments of grace from their lives and also propelling them forward, as they try to swim through the problems that face them. Drowning Lessons is an extraordinary book; Selgin's writing creates a current that will carry readers farther than they would ever have expected, and leave them on a new shore.

--Hannah Tinti "author of Animal Crackers"

Drowning Lessons displays that fine combination of mystery and manners that drove Flannery O'Connor's work and drives all good fiction: mystery over what our behaviors and misbehaviors reveal about us, and manners in the peculiar style or vision by which the author conducts the investigation.

--Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review

[Selgin's] ability to sling together desire and suffering in complex and moving ways is singular and memorable.


The stories in Selgin's often masterful debut collection . . . focus on faulty passions and dysfunctional romances. . . . Poignant, evocative prose.

--Publishers Weekly

A wine-dark blood rushes through the pages of Drowning Lessons. Tap a vein and drink deeply and taste the best and the worst kind of love. In these pages you will experience lust, spite, jealousy, fidelity, rose-flavored romance, and doe-eyed affection, sometimes all in the same story. Thank goodness for Peter Selgin, who shares with us the mysteries of the human heart in this electric, revealing collection.

--Benjamin Percy "author of Refresh, Refresh"