This Close to Okay


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and the author of Every Kiss A War, Whiskey & Ribbons, So We Can Glow, and This Close to Okay. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and their two teenagers. Find more at


"Leesa Cross-Smith is a consummate storyteller who uses her formidable talents to tell the oft-overlooked stories of people living in that great swath of place between the left and right coasts."--Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
"This book hits the ground running. Cross-Smith writes tenderly about the trial and error of intimacy and draws you in with enormous warmth and control."

--Raven Leilani, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
"Leesa Cross-Smith writes the way many people wish they could: ferociously, tenderly, and with a tremendous amount of heart. The stories contained in So We Can Glow showcase the very best of Cross-Smith's voice. They stick with readers long after the book is closed. This collection is tantalizing and Cross-Smith is a delight."--Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things (on So We Can Glow)
"Leesa Cross-Smith is the most intimate and tender writer on my bookshelf. Once I started reading This Close to Okay, I couldn't stop. Weekend reading at its finest, this story about chance strangers in the mist will spark every ember in your chest and leave you breathless. Cross-Smith's wondrous and nimble heart beats true on every page."
--Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner
"With an effortlessly Baldwinian style of misleading simplicity, Leesa Cross-Smith's beguiling prose lures readers in from the first moments. Reading Cross-Smith is like stepping into seemingly calm water, only to be swept away by the force of a story so immediate, and characters so intimate and bewitching, that you do not want to come up for air."
--Bethany C Morrow, author of Mem and A Song Below Water
"I so admire these stirring, sexy, haunting stories about the darkest corners of women's inner lives. A treat for the soul and the senses, and funny too. Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful storyteller."--Alexia Arthurs, award-winning author of How to Love a Jamaican (on So We Can Glow)
"This Close To Okay is a story to be savored with prose at once lavish and lithe. A voice unmistakable and unforgettable, Smith is a stylist in the most wondrous sense of the word." --David Joy, author of When These Mountains Burn
"This is a heartfelt and moving novel about grief, love, second chances, and the coincidences that change lives. Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful writer and a wonderful caregiver of her characters, showing them the kindness they can't always show themselves, and giving readers a tender, intoxicating reading experience we won't soon forget."
--Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State

"Leesa Cross-Smith's This Close to Okay navigates difficult subjects with great tenderness and the beautiful, emotionally rich language she's known for. By turns heartbreaking, charming, surprising and funny, Cross-Smith deftly explores what it means to be okay in the face of what life hands us."

--Elizabeth Crane, author of The History of Great Things
"So We Can Glow is precise and yearning in all the right ways. Cross-Smith understands sex and lust and love and all the ways they can get crossed up. Inventive in form, drifting from poetry to prose to script to smartphone text to receipt, Cross-Smith explores our affections, how they flourish or, more often, unravel, and her writing delivers this wisdom with blunt honesty and sex appeal to spare. It brings into existence secrets we didn't even know we had."--JM Holmes, award-winning author of How Are You Going to Save Yourself (on So We Can Glow)
"The magic of So We Can Glow is that no matter who you are, no matter your circumstances, no matter your gender identity, when reading this book you become the girls and women in these pages. You hope their hopes, dream their dreams, fantasize and love alongside them. Leesa Cross-Smith is some sort of sorceress."--Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections and The World Doesn't Require You (on So We Can Glow)
"I've laughed with Tallie and Emmett. I've cried with them too. We've listened to music, watched movies, had meals together. Not to mention all the honest conversations about love, life, grief and death. Now that I finished reading this extraordinary and oh so heartwarming story, I'm not sure how to move on. I miss them both deeply."
--Carolina Setterwall, author of Let¿s Hope for the Best
"These stories, brief but dense with emotion, will make you feel like you're falling in love -- again and again and again. They drop the reader into moments that feel soaked with longing, like strawberries in champagne. Through Cross-Smith's characters, we experience the messiness, the ache, but mostly the glory of female desire."--Amy Bonnaffons, author of The Regrets and The Wrong Heaven (on So We Can Glow)
"Cross-Smith's thrilling debut novel, Whiskey and Ribbons, is as immediate and compelling as music. Her three lovers tell their stories, each turning over what we think we know, creating a moving triptych on love, desire, and grief, and the unexpected families life makes for us."--Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)