This week's picks come from Erin McKnight,
Publisher at Queen's Ferry Press
By René LeBlanc
What the Book’s About:
Where the Body Ends is a debut collection of eleven stories, published in places like Timber Creek Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, and Louisiana Literature. The characters are marginalized, through either physical or emotional deficiency, yet remain reachable to the reader. These people try to push through the fog that has settled over them and in so doing find others doing the same: their struggles, their successes, their symptoms and side effects all center on the ways they manage—with earnestness and humor—under the heaviness of their own lives.
Why You Should Read It:
John Dufresne (No Regrets, Coyote) says of this author: “Evidently, René LeBlanc was somebody’s big secret until now, and I don’t know how they kept her from us.” With this collection, the secret will be out. Above all, these are stories that feature gorgeous writing; the book is largely based in Texas and its prose reinforces the sheer expansiveness of the region as simultaneously sparse and sprawling. Despite writing difficult lives, LeBlanc subverts overwrought telling or overly dramatized scenes and cuts to the core of characters in a way that makes it difficult to stop thinking of them and their burdened days.
Erin McKnight is the publisher of Queen’s Ferry Press, an independent small press publishing collections of literary fiction. Authors include Michael Nye, Scott Garson, and the TIL award-winning (Shadows of Men) Kevin Grauke; forthcoming authors include Phong Nguyen, Aaron Burch, and Victoria Kelly. Erin’s own writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and W.W. Norton’s The Best Creative Nonfiction, and her reviews of poetry and fiction titles can be found in multiple venues.