Synopses & Reviews
From ghosts to pink dolphins to a fight club of young women who practice beneath the Alaskan aurora borealis, By Light We Knew Our Names examines the beauty and heartbreak of the world we live in. Across thirteen stories, this collection explores the thin border between magic and grief.
"In these wonderful stories, Anne Valente shows again and again her talent for extracting the obsessions and anxieties and wonder of childhood, then extrapolating them across the whole of a life: Here feelings manifest as objects, relationships exist as gifts physically given, and every page contains a thrilling combination of sadness and joy, humor and loss, science and mystery and magic. By Light We Knew Our Names
is a striking debut, reminiscent of Aimee Bender and Lorrie Moore, but with a bright promise all its own." Matt Bell, author of In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods
"In general, issues trump characterization in these stories; well-crafted and perhaps overly solemn, they are the kind of fare that used to appear in the 'better' womens magazines. Valentes territory may be small, but she covers it with insight and depth." Publishers Weekly
Thirteen stories exploring the thin borders between wonder and loss and magic and grief
About the Author
Anne Valente's fiction appears in Hayden's Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, The Journal
among others, and her essays appear in The Washington Post
and The Believer.
She is also the author of the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics
(Origami Zoo Press, 2013). Winner of Copper Nickel's 2012 Fiction Prize, her work was listed as notable in Best American Non-Required Reading 2011.
Originally from St. Louis, she currently lives in the Midwest.