An inventive story collection that spans the globe as it explores love, childhood, and parenthood with an electric mix of humor and emotion.
Acclaimed for the grace, wit, and magic of her novels, Ramona Ausubel introduces us to a geography both fantastic and familiar in eleven new stories, some of them previously published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Elegantly structured, these stories span the globe and beyond, from small-town America and sunny Caribbean islands to the Arctic Ocean and the very gates of Heaven itself. And though some of the stories are steeped in mythology, they remain grounded in universal experiences: loss of identity, leaving home, parenthood, joy, and longing.
Crisscrossing the pages of Awayland are travelers and expats, shadows and ghosts. A girl watches as her homesick mother slowly dissolves into literal mist. The mayor of a small Midwestern town offers a strange prize, for stranger reasons, to the parents of any baby born on Lenin’s birthday. A chef bound for Mars begins an even more treacherous journey much closer to home. And a lonely heart searches for love online–never mind that he’s a Cyclops.
With her signature tenderness, Ramona Ausubel applies a mapmaker’s eye to landscapes both real and imagined, all the while providing a keen guide to the wild, uncharted terrain of the human heart.
Praise for AWAYLAND
“Told in prose at once spare and image-laden, the stories are illuminating and memorable, with plots unfolding like exotic flowers, calm yet bizarre.” –Library Journal, STARRED review
“In vivid, precisely fashioned language, Ausubel spans the globe, from the tropics to the Arctic, in these 11 stories. … Vibrant stories that expand horizons and minds.” –Booklist
“Ramona Ausubel’s collection Awayland takes readers around the world and even into Heaven in 11 magnetic stories about parenthood, loneliness, and love. Tender and heartfelt, Awayland is often also as funny as it is emotionally affecting.” –Buzzfeed, “The 33 Most Exciting New Books of 2018”
“A tenderly imagined story collection, one that traverses small towns and tropical islands, all the while revealing truths about parenthood, love, and growing up that you didn’t know you needed to hear, but are so immensely glad you did.” –Southern Living, “Our Bookshelves Can’t Wait for These Spring 2018 Releases”
“Eleven stories laced with humorous developments, mythic tendencies, and magical realist premises. Ausubel is, at heart, a fabulist, and the current collection puts this impulse in the forefront…Many of the stories are both interesting and amusing…Clever literary games.” –Kirkus
“Ausubel continues her elegant, risk-taking way with this first collection of short stories. Here’s your chance to be intrigued by scenarios that include a homesick mother literally fading into mist, a small-town mayor offering a prize for any baby born on Lenin’s birthday, and a chef bound for Mars who must first conquer troubles close to home.” –Library Journal