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Hub City Press (2019-03-19)
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Biography, Literature & Literary studies



by Pease, Emily W.

In her award-winning debut collection, Emily W. Pease is at work redefining the short story. Let Me Out Here explores the underbellies and strange desires of our neighbors, our loved ones, ourselves.

A co-ed takes up/leaves school with a mysterious cab driver who's been calling every night on her dormitory's hall phone; a family isolated by their faith hikes to a waterfall in search of healing; a mother sets her balcony on fire after an awkward family dinner; a woman befriends the snakes her preacher boyfriend keeps in their shed. This revealing collection offers a deep empathy for people doing the best they can, despite themselves.

Spread over varied landscapes of the South and offering surprising moments of raw revelation, the characters here find themselves at crossroads or alone on an empty street at night. With Let Me Out Here, Pease joins the ranks of Mary Gaitskill, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Kelly Link, and adds to their tradition a deft, singular style and a voice as darkly funny as it is exacting.

Let Me Out Here is the 2018 winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize.

Emily W. Pease's stories have appeared in Witness, the Missouri Review (Editors Prize in Fiction), the Georgia Review, Shenandoah (including the Bevel Summers Prize), Crazyhorse (Crazyshorts! Prize), the Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative. After teaching for many years at the College of William & Mary, she now teaches writing to veterans through the Armed Services Arts Partnership, where she also serves as a member of their arts council. She is currently beginning a novel about logging the last forests of West Virginia. She lives in Williamsburg, VA.

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With a style as deft as it is nuanced, her touch as light as it is sharp, Ms. Pease brings to the page the intelligence to know what matters and great empathy for those beleaguered by what matters.

Quote: Lee K. Abbott, contest judge, author of All Things, All at Once

Quote: Cheston Knapp, author of Up Up, Down Down

Let Me Out Here is the 2018 winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize.

Quote: Kleinworks

Emily Pease makes the world new again. Arresting, fierce and unforgettable, her stories make you look at the world around you in a different light. Let Me Out Here is a terrific collection.

Quote: Claire Messud, NYT bestselling author of The Burning Girl

These are gorgeous and haunting stories. In Let Me Out Here, Emily Pease has given us a collection that is both urgent and timeless. She's a sublime writer, and her fiction is shot through with grace and beauty and the gravity of hard-won emotion.

Quote: Bret Anthony Jojnston, author of Remember Me Like This

Let Me Out Here is an extraordinary collection of hidden moments and midnight roads, tales of characters held captive to their own stories, following their own leads past points of no return, far beyond the trail's end. Pease's confidence gives this collection a driving intimacy, a deft and crafted boldness, the kinds of stories told from the passenger seat of an idling car to a stranger standing uncertain on the sidewalk. I'll follow Pease wherever she's going.

Quote: Amelia Gray, author of Isadora and Gutshot

Pease's prose demands attention and refuses to let readers avert their gazes from the near-constant sense of approaching disaster, a steady thrum of quiet doom. And yet, each story is all the more enticing because the humanity of the characters is not overshadowed by plot. A compelling examination of what it means to survive when thriving seems to be an option only for other people.

Review: Kirkus

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