Places Like These
by Lauren Carter
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Pub Date 18 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 17 Apr 2023
A widow visits a spiritualist community to attempt to contact her late husband. A grieving teenager confronts the unfairness of his small-town world and the oncoming ecological disaster. A sexual assault survivor navigates her boyfriend's tricky family and her own confusing desires. A mother examines unresolved guilt while seeking her missing daughter in a city slum. A lover exploits his girlfriend's secrets for his own purposes. Whether in Ecuador or San Francisco, rural Ontario or northern Manitoba, the landscape in each of Carter's poignant short stories reflects each character's journey.
Psychologically complex and astute, Places Like These plumbs the vast range of human reactions to those things which make us human—love, grief, friendship, betrayal, and the intertwined yet contrasting longing for connection and independence.
“The stories in Lauren Carter’s Places Like These explore the landscape of grief and anxiety that disrupt the quietude of so-called ordinary lives and places. Carter turns her penetrating writer’s gaze toward that which makes us human, the ways in which we must carry on, for better and for worse. I loved this highly readable collection.” —Nancy Jo Cullen, author of The Western Alienation Merit Badge
“Places Like These by Lauren Carter offers a magnetic and clear-eyed examination of the times in our lives when we can say we’ve truly lived. Told with Carter’s unmistakably world-bending lyricism, the stories in this collection splinter with moments of seismic recognition; they tug at the places in ourselves we’ve forgotten existed but inform who we are. An unforgettable read.” —Hollay Ghadery, author of Fuse