by Mary Sojourner
March 2017 | Short Fiction | 978-1-937226-69-5 | 200 pp | $14.95
MARY SOJOURNER is the author of 29: a Novel; the short story collection Delicate; an essay collection, Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest; and memoirs, Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire and She Bets Her Life. She is an occasional commentator at her local NPR station and the author of many essays, columns, and op-eds for High Country News, Writers on the Range and other publications. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Sojourner teaches writing in private circles, one-on-one, at colleges and universities, writing conferences, and book festivals. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing through writing—the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
From security guards and jack rabbits to bartenders and blue herons, the desert-dwellers in The Talker surface with grit and grace from dust-blown trailers and ancient Joshua trees. With her signature down-to-earth storytelling style and uniquely empathetic eye, Sojourner writes a community seeking refuge, truth, and escape within the desert glare of the Mojave.
PRAISE FOR THE TALKER
"The abiding theme is that mistakes will be made, losses will pile up and yet—by accident or luck or sheer determination—most of these characters will manage to endure."
"If you ever wondered what life is like for the down and out, the remarkable Sojourner lays it out in precise and unsparing prose in her latest collection of short stories. Throughout, Sojourner's ability to bring extraordinary characters to life and bring depth and heart to ordinary circumstances makes this collection memorable."
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
"Sojourner uses passion, high-energy storytelling, and unflinching empathy to break the reader’s heart."
"Sojourner is a weaver of the heart. She adds perfect threads, creating lives and moments so absolutely real and human you feel them in your own self, whether you want to or not. There is a sting beneath everything she writes."
—CRAIG CHILDS, author of Apocalyptic Planet
"The heart in these stories beats out of its chest. Sojourner is the voice of the luckless, the rejected, and the defiantly free. Reading this collection will give you blisters in tender places, and you’ll be proud of them."
—BRADEN HEPNER, author of Pale Harvest
"Some construct fences around themselves and blame the fence, others find comfort in acceptance, and some do not. They are, like their creator, sojourners. In every case Mary Sojourner brings candlelight to their struggles."
—H. LEE BARNES, author of The Gambler's Apprentice
Cover photo by Christina Norlin