In this assured and inventive debut collection, Erica Wagner’s haunting short stories range across space and time. From the solitary astronomer, whose desperation for another’s touch leads to destruction, to the Pharaoh’s daughter who sees her own death rising inexorably before her. From the small-town American, set free from normality by the disappearance of his wife and obsessed with raising a modern monument, to the young woman in the British Library whose seclusion is shattered by a simple note. From the priest turned lion-tamer, who finds that faith is essential in any vocation, to the young girl subverting her mother’s authority with the only weapon she possesses: her body.
Illuminating the loneliness of the human condition, the difficulty of making connections with others, and the fragility of those connections once made, these fresh and compelling pieces are the work of a true storyteller. Erica Wagner reaches into the fractured lives of her characters and finds moments of redemption, despair and exhilaration.