The Dead Still Here
by Laura Valeri
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Pub Date 10 May 2018 | Archive Date 23 Nov 2018
Mapping stories set in Europe and America, The Dead Still Here skillfully paces through eleven short stories about friends-with-benefits typed relationships, vicious divorces and thievery, the loss of a child, the loss of a mother, and the Coast Guard and the Navy rescuing refugees from a bad storm at sea. Laura Valeri writes one single breathtaking sentence about sex, Dear John emails, and Christmas presents in Liabilities of a Love Misguided and displays a sharp sense of paranoia based on everyone looking at the narrator, laughing, whispering in What They Know. Along with characters that are irrevocably locked in their heads, Valeri includes a guide on how to take medication in Prescription for Life, which subtly points to the other hallucinatory narratives. This collection is at once provocative and lucid, and it offers various angles of characters looking for a relationship to hold.
“Laura Valeri is one savvy, lyrical, and fearless writer, and The Dead Still Here carries us away to places we’ve never been before. Here’s a storyteller at the top of her game writing about shattered lives and broken dreams, about refugees and grieving mothers, and who knows that nothing is as it seems. Here are eleven rattling, lyrical, and dazzling stories to savor and to celebrate.”
—John Dufresne author of I Don’t Like Where This Is Going
The stories in The Dead Still Here vibrate with originality, sensuality, and the strange. These exquisitely plotted stories reveal the many ways that our society silences art, intuition, and love. Multi-cultural and precisely attuned to the perils and sorrows of our times, Valeri’s collection solidifies her place as one of the finest writers of contemporary fiction.
—Sandy Rodriguez Barron, author of Stay With Me and The Heiress of Water
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
This book was well written and very fun to read. The characters were great and I enjoyed the world building. The author does a great job at introducing the characters and moving the plot along. There were a few things that I didn't like, but it wasn't enough to really sway me one way or the other. It's definitely a story that I can get lost in and both feel for the characters. It is definitely a go-to novel that I highly recommend to anyone who loves a great read. Definitely a highly recommended read that I think everyone will enjoy.
This calculated and gorgeous collection proves that Laura Valeri knows how to land a literary punch. Like a boxer, she can calculate distance and trajectory, balance power and precision, and at the first letting down of the guard, pow. Right in the kisser. There is beauty in the violence, sure, maybe even redemption, but each narrative plays by its own relentless rules. Sometimes surreal, always visceral, and never commonplace, Valeri’s stories pack a wallop.
Thank you NetGalley for this advance copy. Laura Valeri has given us a short story collection with something for everyone. Her poignant stories open the door on complex and interesting characters. From the tragic to the humorous, she paces the stories so that we get a palate cleanser in between. Many of these stories are ripe to be expanded into a longer format. Read it. You'll like it.