This book is meant to be amazing — I’m digging into it this weekend — and we’re very excited to share it with you! The reviews have been fantastic. For example, The New York Times Book Review said this: “”Though the 42 stories here often masquerade as slices of domestic life, the scale of the emotional trajectories is treated with the weight of the epic. They are sexy and sly. The dialogue winks and sparks on the page, making every story feel like a flirt. The collection overloads the senses . . . Cross-Smith’s descriptions are filled with equal amounts of violence and tenderness . . . Throughout, characters from earlier stories reappear to nudge us in the ribs, these rewarding inside jokes building depth and resonance. It is the strength of the female characters, though, that truly binds this collection together . . . The woman throughout this collection are constantly being revealed by a powerful inner light.” That is one hell of a blurb.
And if we flip it over and read the back:
A lush, glittering short story collection exploring female obsession and desire by an award-winning author Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller.”
From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories — ranging from the 80’s and 90’s to present day — expose the hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness, and more.
On a hot July night, teenage girls sneak out of the house to meet their boyfriends by the train tracks. Members of a cult form an unsettling chorus as they proclaim their adoration for the same man. A woman luxuriates in a fantasy getaway to escape her past. A love story begins over cabbages in a grocery store, and a laundress’s life is consumed by her obsession with a baseball star. After the death of a sister, two high school friends kiss all night and binge-watch Winona Ryder movies.
Leesa Cross-Smith’s sensuous stories — some long, some gone in a flash, some told over text and emails — drench readers in nostalgia for summer nights and sultry days. They recall the intense friendships of teenage girls and the innate bonds between mothers, the first heady rush of desire, and the pure exhilaration of womanhood, all while holding up the wild souls of women so they can catch the light.
Yeah, I’m SOLD. You can buy So We Can Glow here at Bookshop (or anywhere else you buy books), and we also have three copies to give away!
THE TASK: As usual, I’ll be picking the winner at random. To enter, please comment and share your own favorite short story, or stories, or book of short stories, if you have one.
THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Friday. FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you. (Open to US readers only; all prizing courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.