My Pulse Is an Earthquake (Paperback)

By Kristin Fitzpatrick

Vandalia Press, 9781940425726, 220pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2015



The nine stories in "My Pulse Is an Earthquake" take place in the clutches of grief. Characters struggle to make sense of sudden losses of life, love, and community. From 1970 to the present day, children and young adults from the Rockies to the Appalachian Mountains guide readers through the valleys of their lives as dog breeders, immigrants, Catholic school delinquents, rookie policewomen, drummers, ballerinas, teenage brides, and an accountant who keeps a careful inventory of losses. In each story, we see the darkness that can surface during the happy moments in life-weddings, births, promotions, the opening night of a director's favorite play, or the best performance of a dancer's career, when no one important is there to watch. We enter daydreams and night terrors where the dead are within reach, pointing out how they could have been saved. We wear their clothes and carry their teddy bears or vinyl records everywhere. We crawl around in caves and pound hammers into walls until our own hearts stop beating. This collection explores how the unexpected hard to young, vibrant loved ones-from murder, kidnapping, battle, accident, natural disaster, swift illness, or stillbirth-can rupture families, and how the most unlikely healers can bring together those who remain.

About the Author

Born in suburban Detroit, Kristin FitzPatrick grew up surrounded by music and books. She fell in love with old movies, photography, endurance running, and poetry before she started writing seriously. Her inspiration has come from music and from the people she met while working as a stagehand, nanny, waitress, editorial assistant, and English conversation teacher.Kristin earned degrees from Michigan State, DePaul University in Chicago, and Cal State Fresno, where she began writing and publishing some of the stories in this collection.A semifinalist for the 2014 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, Kristin is the recipient of residencies from Jentel and The Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, where she held a creative writing teaching fellowship. Her work has been chosen for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and has appeared in publications such as "Colorado Review," "The Southeast Review," "Epiphany," and "The Best of Gival Press Short Stories," as well as on stage in Sacramento and Los Angeles.Kristin and her husband live in Southern California, among stacks of vinyl records and books. She s working on a novel and teaching writing to students whose stories inspire her to wake early, turn the volume up, and listen for more. "My Pulse is an Earthquake" is her first book. Learn more"