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“Full of grace and wit . . . busting of compassion, guts, and wisdom. This collection shines with amazing delight.”
–Kim Chinquee, author of Oh Baby
Spanning nearly a decade of Kathy Fish’s writing, Together We Can Bury It draws heavily on the author’s Midwestern roots. Like the changing seasons, themes of childhood, siblinghood, and adult loss and betrayal are woven throughout these stories. In “Florida,” we share in Emmeline’s devastation when her mother makes her go to school unbathed after wetting the bed: “But how will you ever learn if you don’t suffer the consequences?” In stories like “Shoebox,” we witness daughters struggling against distant parents, their lives out of control; these girls “don’t want to grow big and strong, they want to be left alone.”
As we read about and remember milestone moments from our own lives, like first kisses, first heartbreak, and first sexual encounters, so too do we recognize that familiar “smile a woman wears when she’s on the verge of tears,” particularly in stories like “Wake Up,” “The Hollow,” “Breathless,” and “Foreign Film,” which reveal to us the lives of women in the midst of separation, divorce, widowhood, and desperation: “I call my husband sometimes in the middle of the night. ‘Are we going to be okay?’ I ask, whispering. I don't want to wake him up completely.” It is difficult not to think of these women as the little girl, all grown up now, from “Wild Yellow Dog, Giant Red Fox,” whose grandmother gives her a Royal typewriter and asks: “Please make your next story a happy one.” This is a collection that captures the feeling of embarking “on a long trip, something important and urgent, as if someone far away has died and here we are, speeding to the wake.”
Kathy Fish's short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, The Denver Quarterly, New South, Quick Fiction, Guernica and elsewhere. She guest edited Dzanc Books' Best of the Web 2010. She has published two other collections of short fiction: a chapbook in A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women (Rose Metal Press, 2008) and Wild Life by Matter Press, 2010.