Skip to main content

Separate Kingdoms


Valerie Laken


List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“A work of daunting versatility and technical skill, the product of a writer absolutely at home in the language and working vigorously within both new and old forms.” —Michael Byers, author of Long for this World and The Coast of Good Intentions 

From Pushcart Prize-winner Valerie Laken, author of Dream House, comes a riveting short story collection charting the divisions and collisions between cultures and nations, families and lovers, selves and others in the United States and Russia. In the tradition of Lydia Peelle, Barbara Johnson, and David Mitchell, Laken creates incisive and illuminating portraits of characters coping with loss, estrangement, and disability, confined by their circumstances to separate kingdoms of the heart.

Praise For Separate Kingdoms: Stories

“[Laken] can turn out finely wrought observations on people’s miseries and bad choices like she grew up at Chekhov’s knee. But she brings some extra juice, both playful and serious, to these eight tales. . . . A national talent.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Loss, temporary and permanent, physical and emotional, is the hard, gleaming thread tying together Laken’s short-story collection. . . . An absorbing literary exploration of the geography of loss.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Vivid and evocative, these stories will appeal to readers of both popular and literary fiction.”
Library Journal

Harper Perennial, 9780060840945, 224pp.

Publication Date: March 29, 2011

About the Author

Valerie Laken teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her first novel, Dream House, was named of one Booklist's Top Ten First Novels and Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2009.