The characters in this collection are searching for something more: in the markings on tortoise shells, on other planets, with new lovers and altered identities. They know there are whole worlds out there that have never been seen, some as distant as the Amazon rain forest, others as close as a neighbor’s house, the curtains left open. Laura van den Berg helps us discover these worlds, blending the mundane and routine with the strange and unexpected. The search won’t always end with the stories—these restless narrators will always be left with mysteries unsolved, questions unanswered and hidden aches not quite healed—but what they see along the way will be nothing short of marvelous.
“How lucky for the characters in this amazing collection, who are shocked by the mysteries of their strange lives, that Laura van den Berg knows them with such clarity that their stories become, in such a short space, thrilling and resonant. This is a beautiful book, every story speaking to the one that came before it and the one that follows. It will quietly open you up and fill you with light.”
-Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth and The Family Fang
“Van den Berg’s poetic voice fills the page with these eccentric, funny, heartful yet unsentimental stories about people turned peculiar in their quests for closeness. Fantastic work.”
-Deb Olin Unferth, author of Minor Robberies, Vacation, and Revolution
Check out previously published pieces included in this chapbook:
“Parakeets” in Guernica
“To The Good People of Mars” in You Must Be This Tall to Ride