Synopses & Reviews
A defiant, beautifully realized story collection about the messy complications of contemporary queer life.
A young teenager runs from her family's conservative home to her sister's NY apartment to learn a very different set of rules. A woman grieves the loss of a sister, a "gay divorce," and the pain of unacknowledged abuse with the help of a lone wallaby on a farm in Washington State. A professor of women's and gender studies revels in academic and sexual power but risks losing custody of the family dog.
In Corinne Manning's stunning debut story collection, a cast of queer characters explore the choice of assimilation over rebellion. In this historical moment that's hyperaware of and desperate to define even the slowest of continental shifts, when commitment succumbs to the logic of capitalism and nobody knows what to call each other or themselves — Gay? Lesbian? Queer? Partners? Dad? — who are we? And if we don't know who we are, what exactly can we offer each other?
Spanning the years 1992 to 2019, and moving from New York to North Carolina to Seattle, the 11 first-person stories in We Had No Rules feature characters who feel the promise of a radically reimagined world but face complicity instead.
"A powerful testament to the complexity of identity and desire." Kirkus Reviews
"Corinne Manning's nuanced and interconnected short stories explore queerness through the lens of rules, and rules through the lens of queerness." Shelf Awareness
"Wistful, funny, angry, bitter, raw - Manning both shocks and enthralls." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Corinne Manning is a prose writer and literary organizer. Their stories and essays have been published widely, including in Toward an Ethics of Activism and Shadow Map: An Anthology of Survivors of Sexual Assault. Corinne founded The James Franco Review, a project that sought to address implicit bias in the publishing industry.