Now that I write nonfiction, I don't tend to read as much fiction as I used to. It's a shame, but that's what happens. I happen to work with Kevin Sampsell, who runs Future Tense Books, which is the publisher for Pretend We Live Here: Stories. I happened to see the cover one afternoon and I loved the brightness of it, so I checked it out and gave it a shot. Readers: You need this book in your life. I'm serious. Do you like queer stories that are full of love, hope, despair, sex, romance, and everything and nothing? Good, because Hudson delivers. Every essay is beautiful, and even if you don't personally enjoy it, there will be something in there for you. There is something for everyone, and a lot of books can't give you that. I seriously hope that you pick up a copy of this book. You deserve it. Recommended By Katherine M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In her debut collection of stories, Pretend We Live Here, Genevieve Hudson explores the idea of home and what it means to find one: in the body, in the world, in other people. Her characters are seekers, whose actions are influenced by their slippery identities and by the strange landscapes that surround them.
In “Boy Box,” a young woman yearns to test her luck with a wild punk girl crush. In “God Hospital,” a character journeys deep into the woods of Alabama in search of an infamous religious healer, hoping he can fix her teeth. In “Adorno,” someone in need of forgiveness crosses paths with a band of radical vegan activists and gets subsumed into their world. In “Dance!,” a recluse writes a breakthrough song for her pink dolphin, but the song’s success only drives her further away from society. Set in Amsterdam, the Pacific Northwest, and the Deep South, these stories hum with sexual tension, queerness, displacement, longing, humor, and dark nostalgia.
“Jagged, queer, and nervy, these stories beat with an urgent, potent pulse. They’re often funny, sometimes wrenching, and never predictable. A bold and bracing debut.” Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City
“In Pretend We Live Here, characters bleed and breathe with a caustic energy that dares the reader to keep pace as they are taken from the Deep South to Western Europe and back again. Genevieve Hudson is a new, coming-of-age voice that spotlights rural America, injecting it with a queer freshness that makes her writing impossible to forget.” Jing-Jing Lee, author of How We Disappeared
“A terrific collection of stories. There are echoes here of Flannery O’Connor, Barry Hannah, and Denis Johnson, but Genevieve Hudson is her own writer — impressively and gloriously so. Her eye for the clinching detail is unnerving and her sympathies are fascinatingly conflicted. I hope, and suspect, this book will be the start of a long and inspiring career.” Tom Bissell, author of The Disaster Artist and Magic Hours
About the Author
Genevieve Hudson is the author of A Little in Love with Everyone (Fiction Advocate, 2018), a book on Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and the story collection Pretend We Live Here (Future Tense Books, 2018).
Her writing has been published in Catapult, Hobart, Tin House online, Joyland, The Millions, Lit Hub, The Collagist, No Tokens, Bitch, The Rumpus, and other places. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Program and artist residencies at the Dickinson House, Caldera Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center.
She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University, where she occasionally teaches Fiction Writing and Gender Studies courses. She lives in Amsterdam.