When Are You Coming Home?
Stories (The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
Humans have always connected deeply to the idea of home. In Bryn Chancellor’s nine stories, home means, in part, the physical spaces: the buildings, cities and towns, the fragile, imperious landscapes of the region. But home is also profoundly rooted in intangibles. Set in urban and rural Arizona, home, for the characters in these stories, is love—familial, romantic, and unrequited. It is loss and grief. It is the memories that surface late at night. It is mystery and longing and a shining flicker of hope.
In the title story, a locksmith prowls empty houses and befriends a young mother as he and his wife grapple with a tragedy perpetrated by their son. During an overseas trip, a daughter grieving for her father struggles with her mother’s altered appearance; an irrigation worker meets a troubled teenage girl in the darkness of her flooded yard; and a daughter and her estranged, ailing mother stay in a dilapidated cabin while a mountain lion stalks the woods. Through chance meetings between strangers, collisions within families, and confrontations with the self, characters leave and return, time and again, trying desperately to find their way home.
Praise For When Are You Coming Home?: Stories (The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)…
“These masterful and moving stories whisk us to the brittle edge, the place where pain splinters the husk from which understanding emerges.”—Lorraine López, author of Homicide Survivors Picnic, and Other Stories
“Bryn Chancellor is an amazing, sensitive, and thoughtful writer. . . . The depth on display in these carefully crafted, emotionally resonant stories is staggering.”—Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth and The Family Fang
“When Are You Coming Home? is a knockout! These nine stories turned me into an emotional pinball, zinging from humor to heartbreak and back again. Bryn Chancellor is the real thing, a true artist and one hell of a storyteller.”—Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow
University of Nebraska Press, 9780803277229, 136pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
About the Author
Bryn Chancellor is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her short fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Phoebe, and elsewhere. She received the Poets and Writers 2014 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award in fiction.