Maida Vale Publishing/Black Spring Press Group
The short memoirs in Family Stories begin with:
They may not be true. They grow for years from a few words you heard on a summer evening when you leaned sleepily against your mother’s side as she talked with friends over your head. Or you have told them so many times that you can’t remember the first telling. They become trees with dark branches, rustling leaves you can hide in. You fall asleep in these trees and dream. Maybe you dreamt parts of some stories; maybe you made some up completely. Now there is no one you can ask.
This collection welcomes readers inside the warm, funny, confusing, and deep experiences of one person’s perspective on their family. You’ll recognize your own moments in these memories while feeling your way into a family that’s not yours—and the joy, wisdom, and heartache in knowing others more intimately, with recollections of family, history, connections, and revelations. These second-person memoirs are accompanied by family photos, so readers see the family and also find the universal in the personal. The creative nonfiction in Family Stories is indirectly autobiographical. Readers enter the life of the author through the lenses of family, art, and illness—things that are important in the life of the author. In “Memories of Art,” the personal history of the speaker entwines with paintings, dance, and music. Memory then takes on a more hazy feel—alongside beautiful watercolor illustrations from Masami Inoue—in the section “Dream Geography.” “Days of Sky” wraps up the collection with reflections during a time of illness. Family Stories captures the wonder and mystery of our relationships, our hearts, and the power of the arts.
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"A phenomenal storyteller, Judith Serin delights with her humor, intelligence, and irreverence. A wonderful story collection."
—Jasmin Darznik, author of Song of a Captive Bird, The Good Daughter, and The Bohemians
"In stories that are ethereal and haunting, Judith Serin portrays the inner world of women who confront their desires and constraints. Imaginative, captivating, sensual, and fierce, Gravity invites you to know yourself as well as Serin knows her characters."
—Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of Real American: A Memoir, How to Raise an Adult, and Your Turn: How to Be an Adult
"Gravity is a book that grabs you from the first page and never lets go. The women who populate its seven stories brim with fierce energies and dark desires—for revenge, independence, connection, or forbidden sex. Pitch-perfect prose and unforgettable turns of phrase make this collection a master class in the art of visceral storytelling."
—Anita Amirrezvani, author of The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun
"In this collection of fiction by Judith Serin, she explores the extraordinary inner lives of seemingly ordinary women. Serin finds the difficult truths in relationships between the sexes, words and feelings thought but never expressed. Her descriptions have a poet’s imagination and precision. These stories will surprise and enlighten, particularly the moving novella 'Gravity' that gives the collection its name."
—Zack Rogow, author of Irreverent Litanies and The Number Before Infinity