Psychotherapist and writer Linda Feyder’s upcoming evocative short fiction collection, “All’s Fair and Other California Stories” (Sept. 28, 2021, She Writes Press), transports the reader into brief, but telling moments in each character’s lives around different California landscapes. This psychological exploration ruminates over the desire for human connection and a better way of life despite challenging experiences.
In present-day Southern California, a diverse group of characters seeks the fulfillment and connection this sunny state has always promised. They come with hopes for a better lifestyle, for a change of perspective, or for the dry, mild West Coast weather.
A couple moves to Palm Desert from New York for the arid, warm climate a doctor prescribes and they manage both illness and homesickness. The woman makes an unlikely friend in a young albino boy who teaches her a harsh lesson about the margin for cruelty that resides in us all. A young Mexican woman migrates to California and marries an American man—only to be deserted. A young man is disqualified from the Naval Aeronautical program and returns to his sister’s home, where he struggles with his identity and sexuality. After years of estrangement, a teenage girl travels to California from New York to spend the summer with her father.
This collection contains several “snapshot” stories—poetic pauses—that blend a set of images into an artistic visual unit, much like a brief cinematic experience. Every character in this collection is distinct from the next, but all of their stories unfold under the glare of the same Southern California sun—a western desert light so clear and unfiltered that it reveals everything.