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From the award-winning author of The Girl from Blind River comes a collection of transformative new stories
In story after story in this diverse new collection, Gale Massey illustrates the moments that shape and alter destiny. Bringing each to life through interconnected themes of moving water and transience, Massey shares with us an unvarnished narrative of a world that objectifies women and the strength and resourcefulness required to attempt to overcome those limitations.
From the panicked mother in Racine who escapes to the ocean and a young girl’s discovery of her parents’ differing takes on racial equality in Glass to the inevitable end in Marked and the gamble in Not So Fast, these stories show how simple twists of fate can change a person forever. Ivy Waters and Long Time Coming both explore the loss of a father in very different ways, and how the identities of the daughters are rooted in those losses. And Elise’s life in Rising is told in contrasts as she develops the use of her volition to pull her toward the life she deserves.
Massey’s protagonists are everyday folk depicted in stories that explore the scars of redemption (Lucky Girl), despair (Differences), daring (The Train Runner) and longing (Swimaway and Freedom’s Just Another Word), a visceral sense of fate (Low Tide), and, most of all, each character’s desires and their will to live.
These stories will transform you and deepen your view of the world, as Massey helps us discern societal constructs and their acute burdens, and the many ways that people--particularly women and girls--attempt to rise above them.
“Gale Massey’s insight and empathy resonate throughout this beautifully written debut collection. She has just the right words to make us feel the pain and hardships affecting her characters, but always with hope. This a must-read from a wonderful new writer. I can’t wait to see what she does next.” –Alafair Burke, New York Times-bestselling author of The Better Sister
“Through girlhood, adulthood, and motherhood, and against complex family dynamics, the characters in Gale Massey’s exquisite collection strive to find their places in the world—and find themselves in the process. Sharply characterized, lyrically written, rich with surprises, rich with life—these are stories to savor.” —Art Taylor, Edgar Award-winning author of The Boy Detective and The Summer of ’74
"Gale Massey’s astonishing debut collection, Rising and Other Stories, explores the themes of race, sexuality, childhood, family, hardship and courage in tough, clear-eyed prose. Girls and women on the edges of society are compassionately rendered as the reader is drawn into a world of small towns and smaller lives with such bare emotion it’s hard to look away. These stories are more than enjoyable, they are addictive. Brava to an unusually gifted writer.” —Louise Marburg, author of The Truth About Me and No Diving Allowed
“The emotions displayed throughout are sparse yet full of understated meaning. Truly a marvelous collection of short stories.” —Suanne Schafer, author of A Different Kind of Fire and Hunting the Devil
"Massey's writing twists the hearts out of her characters and leaves them exposed, broken, tender, and pulsing on the page. Be forewarned—your own heart will join them." —Sandra Gail Lambert, author of A Certain Loneliness
“In Rising and Other Stories, Gale Massey’s characters spring to life with unparalleled vividness and verve. Mothers and fathers, carpenters and grocers, veterans and police officers, church ladies and inmates, these saints and sinners elbow past tragedy, racing trains and swimming their way through alligator-infested waters. These are stories that will stay with you, haunting and wondrous.” —David James Poissant, author of Lake Life and The Heaven of Animals