Here until August Stories

Josephine Rowe, 1984-

Book - 2019

A collection of stories full of heartbreak, travel, and seduction by an Australian author.

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Subjects
Genres
Short stories
Published
New York : Catapult 2019.
Language
English
Physical Description
199 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781948226073
1948226073
Main Author
Josephine Rowe, 1984- (author)
  • Glisk
  • Real life
  • Anything remarkable
  • Sinkers
  • Post-structuralism for beginners
  • Chavez
  • The once-drowned man
  • A small cleared space
  • Horse latitudes
  • What passes for fun.
Review by Booklist Reviews

In Rowe's first short-story collection, the Australian author's talent for relating her very human characters' rich interior lives is even more on display than in her impressive debut novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal (2017). Brotherly rivalry, pitch-perfectly portrayed, gives way to something a bit different in the opening story, Glisk. New in a foreign city, a woman takes care of her neighbor's dog while unwinding the tragedy that sent her there in the collection's longest piece, Chavez. In Post-Structuralism for Beginners, a woman is haunted by an old sex tape. In The Once-Drowned Man, a taxi driver accepts a dubious fare, during which she passes a circus that sends her back to an essential longing from her youth. Love and loss underpin these 10 stories, which follow characters' evolving acceptance of their situations, by degrees. Often, Rowe pierces through threatening clouds with humor, especially in her genuine, clever dialogue. Taking place in Canada, Australia, and the U.S., these expansive tales are bound to grip, surprise, and enrapture short-story lovers. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

The 10 sharp, vivid stories in Rowe's first collection (after the novel A Loving, Faithful Animal) showcase characters overwhelmed by the harsh and often beautiful places in which they feel not at all at home. In "Sinkers," Cristian takes his mother's ashes to the lake that now, courtesy of the hydroelectric company, covers the town where she grew up, and tries vainly to locate her sunken, ravaged home under a lake that "tells him little, dumbly reflecting back the deepening sky." Severine, the narrator of "Chavez," consumed by a grief only gradually revealed, runs from France to a grim neighborhood in a North American city, where she is saddled with a mysterious, "wolflike" dog whose owner has left ostensibly for a couple of weeks, but never returns. "What Passes for Fun," the collection's shortest story, more prose poem than fully developed narrative, centers on an image of the physical world that serves as metaphor for the whole volume, a sheet of dazzling ice suspended over a pond that has dropped away, apparently solid but actually dangerously fragile. While the characters' predicaments are often familiar, Rowe's fiercely idiosyncratic ways of describing scenes will seize and hold the reader's attention. The disorienting, sometimes fragmented prose mirrors the characters' sense of ongoing loss and will linger with readers. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A collection of stories by the award-winning author of A Loving, Faithful Animal depicts protagonists on the edges of personal boundaries, including an agoraphobic French émigré who protects a troublesome dog while watching disturbing news footage. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A collection of stories full of heartbreak, travel, and seduction by an Australian author.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A collection of stories full of heartbreak, travel, and seduction from a young Australian author whose "gorgeous, precise language encourages inner storms" (Samantha Hunt, The New York Times Book Review)

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"Here Until August tracks the shimmer of precarious moments and transient moods with devastating precision. In their steady excavation of intimacy, these spacious stories bring Alice Munro to mind. I underlined sentence after sentence as I read: for their beauty, their clarity, and their wisdom. Josephine Rowe is a breathtakingly good writer, and this is a marvelous book." —Michelle de KretserThe stories in Here Until August follow the fates of characters who, by choice or by force, are traveling beyond the boundaries of their known worlds. These are people who move with the seasons. We meet them negotiating reluctant or cowardly departures, navigating uncertain returns, or biding the disquieting calm that so often precedes moments of decisive action.In one story, an agoraphobic French émigré compulsively watches disturbing footage from the other side of the world as she attempts to keep a dog named Chavez out of trouble. In another, a young couple weather the interiority of a Montreal winter, more attuned to the illicit goings-on of their neighbors than to their own hazy, unfolding futures. Other stories play out against the fictional counterparts of iconic Australian and American locales, places that are recognizable but set just beyond the brink of familiarity: flooded townships and distant islands, sunlit woodlands or paths made bright by ice, places of unpredictable access and spaces scrubbed from maps.From the Catskills to New South Wales, from the remote and abandoned island outports of Newfoundland to the sprawl of a North American metropolis, these transformative stories show how the places where we choose to live our lives can just as easily turn us inward as outward.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

"Here Until August tracks the shimmer of precarious moments and transient moods with devastating precision. In their steady excavation of intimacy, these spacious stories bring Alice Munro to mind. I underlined sentence after sentence as I read: for their beauty, their clarity, and their wisdom. Josephine Rowe is a breathtakingly good writer, and this is a marvelous book." 'michelle de KretserThe stories in Here Until August follow the fates of characters who, by choice or by force, are traveling beyond the boundaries of their known worlds. These are people who move with the seasons. We meet them negotiating reluctant or cowardly departures, navigating uncertain returns, or biding the disquieting calm that so often precedes moments of decisive action.In one story, an agoraphobic French e´migre´ compulsively watches disturbing footage from the other side of the world as she attempts to keep a dog named Chavez out of trouble. In another, a young couple weather the interiority of a Montreal winter, more attuned to the illicit goings'on of their neighbors than to their own hazy, unfolding futures. Other stories play out against the fictional counterparts of iconic Australian and American locales, places that are recognizable but set just beyond the brink of familiarity: flooded townships and distant islands, sunlit woodlands or paths made bright by ice, places of unpredictable access and spaces scrubbed from maps.From the Catskills to New South Wales, from the remote and abandoned island outports of Newfoundland to the sprawl of a North American metropolis, these transformative stories show how the places where we choose to live our lives can just as easily turn us inward as outward.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

"Here Until August tracks the shimmer of precarious moments and transient moods with devastating precision. In their steady excavation of intimacy, these spacious stories bring Alice Munro to mind. I underlined sentence after sentence as I read: for their beauty, their clarity, and their wisdom. Josephine Rowe is a breathtakingly good writer, and this is a marvelous book." —Michelle de Kretser

The stories in Here Until August follow the fates of characters who, by choice or by force, are traveling beyond the boundaries of their known worlds. These are people who move with the seasons. We meet them negotiating reluctant or cowardly departures, navigating uncertain returns, or biding the disquieting calm that so often precedes moments of decisive action.

In one story, an agoraphobic French émigré compulsively watches disturbing footage from the other side of the world as she attempts to keep a dog named Chavez out of trouble. In another, a young couple weather the interiority of a Montreal winter, more attuned to the illicit goings–on of their neighbors than to their own hazy, unfolding futures. Other stories play out against the fictional counterparts of iconic Australian and American locales, places that are recognizable but set just beyond the brink of familiarity: flooded townships and distant islands, sunlit woodlands or paths made bright by ice, places of unpredictable access and spaces scrubbed from maps.

From the Catskills to New South Wales, from the remote and abandoned island outports of Newfoundland to the sprawl of a North American metropolis, these transformative stories show how the places where we choose to live our lives can just as easily turn us inward as outward.