Fragile Objects: Short Stories by Katy Carl
FRAGILE OBJECTS: A DEBUT SHORT STORY COLLECTION BY KATY CARL
"Authentic, meaningful fiction [can] only be created by writers who love their characters — in all of their follies, paradoxes, and sins. Katy Carl loves her characters."
—Nick Ripatrazone, Culture Editor of Image Journal
“Katy Carl has mastered the art of short fiction. Every single story in this collection lands—maybe in the gut, or right beneath the ribs, somehow always finding that buried place in us that needs healing. With unflinching honesty and tenderness, Katy Carl’s stories expose the hardness of the human heart, as well as its terrible openness: to pain, yes, but also to love. These are stories that pry you open, that reverberate beyond the final word.”
—Abigail Favale, author of The Genesis of Gender
In these stories, characters’ bodies trouble their souls, stirring questions about why we are here and how we are to live. Confronted by their own vulnerabilities, they must also contend with the weaknesses of those they want to love. Will they find their trust well placed; will they rise to moments of grace—or will their lives crack under pressure? Set largely in the American South, from the heart of D.C. to the waters of the Gulf Coast, these stories probe the nature of human fragility and imperfection. Children see behind their parents’ masks and learn to ask whether the center can hold. Priests discover obscene depravities and strive to drive them out. In the presence of the unpredictable, assured friendships splinter. Loving parents push their children to excel, at costs beyond the measured future. And a quixotic idealist transplants his wife and small children to an isolated farm where, beneath the tangled boughs of a pear orchard, they test the limits of their minds’ endurance. These stories seek to do justice in art to the human condition’s real, though fleeting, gifts—to our much-explored, but only ever partially understood, potential for comic resolution, for tragic failure, and the substance of things hoped for between the two.
PRAISE FOR AS EARTH WITHOUT WATER, CARL'S DEBUT NOVEL
"Katy Carl’s As Earth Without Water is a sharp and moving meditation on freedom, choice, and the creative life. 'Art is from the soul,' one of Carl’s lost painters insists; this novel certainly reads like it is."
—Christopher Beha, Editor of Harper’s, author of What Happened to Sophie Wilder and The Index of Self-Destructive Acts
"Katy Carl gives us a vision of love that refuses to be caught up in consoling fantasy. Amidst the darkness of human sin and self-deception, Carl reveals the true complexity, depth, and promise of human longing. A powerful and stunning debut novel. Carl is an artist whose cleverness and skill is tied to a clear vision of reality, and I cannot wait to see what she does next."
—Jennifer Frey, host of the literary podcast Sacred and Profane Love
Publication Date: August 22, 2023
Retail Price: $15.00 (Paperback)