We didn’t intend to send out short stories when we started WellRead but Josephine Rowe’s Here Until August contains such brilliant writing with stories that knock the wind right out of you that they just had to be shared.
Set in a number of places around the world, from the Nullarbor to the Catskills, the stories in this collection are so different and yet each shows us a person negotiating their place in the world as they stagger towards a critical transformation. Despite Rowe’s characters facing hard and gritty truths, there is a beauty to her stories that reveals the poetry of ordinary lives. George Saunders, a master of the short story himself, once said that “when you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you.” Here Until August certainly has this effect.
The magic of the short story is how they evolve into something potent and truthful in so few words. Often their power is revealed hours or days later when the ideas and words settle into your mind. So savour these stories if you can - we cannot stop thinking about them.
A few links if you want to go deeper...