Here Among Strangers – by Serena Crawford

in Serena Crawford’s Here Among Strangers, travelers find and lose themselves in unexpected places.  In “My Brother’s House,” a woman who spends years adrift in India looks to her brother for answers as he leads a duck home from a city park.  A mother lives as a hoarder in “Chinatown,” while her daughter owns nothing, hoping to find refuge in a life of deprivation.  Crawford’s characters teeter on the edge of sanity as they reconcile who they were with who they have become, confronting their truest selves in the most unfamiliar places.  Emotional integrity runs deep in these dark and compelling stories that chronicle what it is to feel alien at home amidst the heartbreak of everyday life.

“These tender, handsomely crafted stories thrum with hard-earned insight, wise humor, and a deeply attractive vitality.”  – Chang-Rae Lee

“Beautifully written, deeply moving, and completely unforgettable – Crawford is a writer of the highest order, and Here Among Strangers is a remarkable debut.”  – Lysley Tenorio

“Crawford’s great skill and restraint are on display in every story, and she strikes that nearly impossible balance between shadow and light, showing here, concealing there, just enough in equal measure to draw us in and work her magic on us.  This is, to put it simply, great fiction.”  – Jack Livings

“These stories, rife with cultural dislocation and tensions between parents and children, resonate together so beautifully; they demonstrate again and again what it might meant to be human.”  – Peter Rock

Here Among Strangers is a winner of the Spokane Prize in fiction.  It can be purchased here.