In twenty-five short stories, Andrea Rinard introduces an eclectic group of women attempting to claim their own space and to find meaning in the mundanity of relationships, eating, shopping, grieving, searching, and dropping a kid off at college. Stark, spare, sometimes surreal, but always lit with a spark of truth, these stories are at once amusing and infuriating, comforting and heartbreaking, and always familiar.
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About the Author
Here are truths, big and small, about what it is to be a woman and a girl and sometimes a little bit of both. Andrea Rinard expertly plucks the key moments of her characters' lives and presents them to the reader like tiny, tough, perfect offerings. Life and death, carnations and ashes, love and loss, sirens and hamsters, it's all here. Rinard's prose is as sure-footed as it is wise, and this collection makes it clear that she's a writer to watch.
Amy Shearn, author of Unseen City and other novels
"In Murmurations, Andrea Rinard puts on full display the sheer range and craftsmanship of her writing. These are stories of and about girlhood and womanhood, the dangers and discoveries, the secrets and betrayals, and the things we trade for love. Within these works, Rinard is formally playful and inventive, as seen in "U-Pick and "To-Do List," employing fragmented and breathless paragraph structures, while also employing mythical, magical, and speculative elements. There are lines and images here so sharp and rich and surprising they stopped me in my tracks: An old man who resembles "a melting candle where he leans against the wall." A woman who'd been taught "never to leave the house without lipstick or shame." The "language" of murmurating starlings. A strong collection of beautifully written, memorable stories, Murmurations is not to be missed."
Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works
Andrea Rinard's Murmurations fills the reader's mind with an aching silence often shattered by the slamming of lockers, the cracking of hearts, and the shouts of the too often ignored. In these stories. you find "the hard corners" of moments broken free from the monotony by fierce women characters who are brimming with life and vigor. Rinard commands our full attention, each story a perfect bauble of distilled life full of smells and truth, a sensory experience that soothes and challenges us from the first page. Rinard doesn't make it easy to look away from these characters with her clear and resonant prose. In Murmurations, she illuminates our secrets and feeds them back to us one sparkingly event after another. If you want to feel something, to see the world again in all of its glory and heartbreak, start reading this book!
Tommy Dean, author of Hollows