National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and “master of his form” (New York Times) Peter Orner returns with a powerful new collection.
Maggie Brown & Others is a stunning and deeply moving array of shorter-than-short stories, spanning from California to Chicago and from Massachusetts to southern Africa, following a cast of characters coming to terms with their situations and struggling with the weight of memory. A preteen grieves over his involvement in the death of his two-year-old sister; an unknown and dying beat poet reflects on his life and career; a young girl helplessly watches a deer sink into a quickly rising swamp, frozen and already aware of the ways in which the moment will etch into her mind forever. Several of Orner’s characters grapple with crises of identity and intense loneliness, finding relief in questionable, sometimes horrifying ways.
Peter Orner brilliantly captures the human experience in these singular and yet universally felt vignettes. Maggie Brown & Others is a composite portrait of what it’s like to be a person in the world, and the heaviness and lightness that makes up a life.