THE SOUND OF RABBITS
The Sound of Rabbits tells the story of Ruby, a bright woman with a love of music who thought that leaving the small town where she grew up would ensure her happiness. But her life in Chicago is not going the way she’d planned. At 41, she’s drifted away from music, and a long-term relationship with a boyfriend has ended badly. Everything changes with one phone call from her sister, Val, who cares for their mother Barbara in the hardscrabble Midwestern town where Ruby grew up.
Barbara’s health has deteriorated, and Val insists Ruby come home to help. Ruby returns to confront some harsh truths about her family and herself as she tries to find meaning in her mother’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. Written as an homage to the classic archetype of the Hero’s Journey, The Sound of Rabbits relies on different points of view to explore themes of change and death, and considers the role that the past—and acceptance of that past—can play in one’s current and future happiness.
In the linked short stories making up Strange Attractors, characters long to find meaning and connection in a world where change may be a given, but is inevitably experienced as sudden and capricious. The collection explores the fictional world of Ephrem, Illinois, where “ordinary people” face life’s curveballs—illness, death, uncertainty, loneliness—with a mix of grit and inadequacy. Like blues music, these stories possess a quiet edge, and an ear for the power inherent in humble experience and pain.
THE DECLINE OF PIGEONS
The Decline of Pigeons is a collection of nine short stories about the sometimes bitter, sometimes transcendent, but always intriguing ways that people cope with the inevitability of loss. These characters don’t always make the choices one might hope to make when faced with adversity, but their choices are innately understandable. Blink once, they might be losers; blink twice, they are like us because their mistakes make them human, and their losses are universal.