Synopses & Reviews
Following her acclaimed debut, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow
, award-winning author Peg Alford Pursell explores and illuminates love and loss in 78 hybrid stories and fables. A Girl Goes into the Forest
immerses readers in the complex desires, contradictions, and sorrows of daughters, wives, and husbands, artists, siblings, and mothers.
In forests literal and metaphorical, the characters try, fail, and try again to see the world, to hear each other, and to speak the truth of their longings. Powerful, lyrical, and precise, Pursell's stories call up a world at once mysterious and recognizable.
A Girl Goes into the Forest invites fans of Lydia Davis and Helen Oyeyemi into a world where "no one can deter a person from her mistakes."
"Pursell's sharply condensed tales pack a bigger punch than the longer ones. Because the stories are so sharp and disturbing, and because they don't fall into any overarching pattern, they are probably best consumed in small quantities. Readers beguiled by modern interpretations of old fairy tales will be pleased." Publishers Weekly
"In seventy-eight viscerally powerful stories, Pursell masterfully reinvents the contemporary terrors and wonders that have faced the runaways and the revenants in our oldest tales...[T]hese interrelated stories capture the desiring and sorrowing and believing that can become threatening and then harmless and, at last, fatal. A spellbinding world." Kevin McIlvoy, author of The Complete History of New Mexico and Other Stories
"A GIRL GOES INTO THE FOREST runs like a collection of melted fairy tales in which archetypes of gender and culture are warped and subverted in the crucible of Pursell's formidable intellect. These are stories of a variety that Joy Williams would recognize, tales broken all to pieces and hidden away in a weird apothecary. Pull open a drawer. See what hides within." Christian Kiefer, author of Phantoms
About the Author
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, a collection of hybrid with praise from Peter Orner, Joan Silber, Antonya Nelson, Glen David Gold, and others, and featured by Poets & Writers magazine's second annual 5 over 50, December 2017. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, the Los Angeles Review, Joyland Magazine, and other journals and anthologies. She is the founder and director of the national reading series Why There Are Words and of WTAW Press. She lives in Northern California.