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You Have Never Been Here
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About the Author

Mary Rickert: Mary Rickert has worked as kindergarten teacher, barista, Disneyland balloon vendor, and in the personnel department of Sequoia National Park where she spent her time off hiking the wilderness. She is the author of two collections and a novel The Memory Garden. She lives in Wisconsin.

Reviews

"A few years ago Mary Rickert achieved the rare distinction of winning two World Fantasy Awards in one year, for a story and a collection. That story, 'Journey into the Kingdom, ' is a highlight of this retrospective collection. . . . The strangeness of Rickert's fiction is more than balanced by her acute insights into families and disturbed minds." -- Gary K. Wolfe, Chicago Tribune "You Have Never Been Here is stupid good. There's no other way to say it. This collection of short stories is at once uniform and eclectic; the stories share threads--both thematic and aesthetic--that bind them together, but each story is clearly and uniquely its own thing. The book opens with the story of a woman slowly turning into a deer, a story that begs to be metaphorized but actually thrives better without the clunkiness of questions like "But what does her turning into a deer represent?" And this is true for many of the stories in Rickert's collection: fantasy tales that at once ask the audience to find truth in them and at the same time question the nature of that truth. Reading this stories is an experience, and it's one everyone should have. And buoying up each story is Rickert's unbeatable prose. . . . I could go on about each of these stories. The way Rickert plays with form, always experimenting: in "Cold Fires," she tells stories within the story, embedded narratives that, like a few of these pieces, draw on fairy tales and ricochet off one another. Or in "You Have Never Been Here," the title story, how she messes with second person in a way that is at once creepy and fascinating. These stories stick with you after the reading, begging you to consider them further, to take another peek inside the book, to dig deeper into the characters and narrative. There's so much to say about each one, but I'll leave some of the mystery for you to discover on your own." -- Hazel and Wren "Mary Rickert's latest collection, You Have Never Been Here, packs a punch with stories that are quietly devastating and haunting in their strange imagery." -- Campus Circle Holiday Booklist "Beautiful, descriptive prose enriches tales of ghosts, loss, and regret in this leisurely collection. . . . Fans of Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link will appreciate Rickert's explorations of myth and memory." -- Publishers Weekly "Short stories about people haunted by loss and transformed by grief. Ghosts walk through this collection. Witches are rumored. People collect bones, sprout wings, watch their feet turn into hooves. Above all, people tell stories--stories that cast spells, stories that change the world. In "Journey into the Kingdom," a tale about ghosts who walk out of the sea has a powerful effect on a young widower. In "Anyway," a mother asks herself what she would sacrifice to save her son's life. In the collection's longest story, "The Mothers of Voorhisville," a group of women are drawn together when they realize their newborn babies have something very strange in common. Not every piece sings, but those that do have a powerful, haunting effect. As the mother of a dead girl puts it in "The Chambered Fruit," the best of these stories show how "from death, and sorrow, and compromise, you create," how "this is what it means...to be alive." Rickert's (Holiday, 2010, etc.) writing is crystal-clear, moody, occasionally blood-chilling. Her characters maneuver through a world where strange, troubling transformations are possible, but they live and breathe on the page, fully human. The worlds Rickert creates are fantastical, but her work should appeal not just to fantasy fans, but to anyone who appreciates a well-told tale." -- Kirkus Reviews "Rickert's latest collection contains haunting tales of death, love, and loss. In stories that are imbued with mythology, beasts, and fantastical transformations, Rickert captures the fanciful quality of regret and longing. . . . Rickert's blend of dark and whimsy is reminiscent of Angela Carter. Perfect for readers looking for something unique, melancholy, and fantastical." -- Booklist -A few years ago Mary Rickert achieved the rare distinction of winning two World Fantasy Awards in one year, for a story and a collection. That story, 'Journey into the Kingdom, ' is a highlight of this retrospective collection. . . . The strangeness of Rickert's fiction is more than balanced by her acute insights into families and disturbed minds.- -- Gary K. Wolfe, Chicago Tribune -You Have Never Been Here is stupid good. There's no other way to say it. This collection of short stories is at once uniform and eclectic; the stories share threads--both thematic and aesthetic--that bind them together, but each story is clearly and uniquely its own thing. The book opens with the story of a woman slowly turning into a deer, a story that begs to be metaphorized but actually thrives better without the clunkiness of questions like -But what does her turning into a deer represent?- And this is true for many of the stories in Rickert's collection: fantasy tales that at once ask the audience to find truth in them and at the same time question the nature of that truth. Reading this stories is an experience, and it's one everyone should have. And buoying up each story is Rickert's unbeatable prose. . . . I could go on about each of these stories. The way Rickert plays with form, always experimenting: in -Cold Fires, - she tells stories within the story, embedded narratives that, like a few of these pieces, draw on fairy tales and ricochet off one another. Or in -You Have Never Been Here, - the title story, how she messes with second person in a way that is at once creepy and fascinating. These stories stick with you after the reading, begging you to consider them further, to take another peek inside the book, to dig deeper into the characters and narrative. There's so much to say about each one, but I'll leave some of the mystery for you to discover on your own.- -- Hazel and Wren -Mary Rickert's latest collection, You Have Never Been Here, packs a punch with stories that are quietly devastating and haunting in their strange imagery.- -- Campus Circle Holiday Booklist -Beautiful, descriptive prose enriches tales of ghosts, loss, and regret in this leisurely collection. . . . Fans of Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link will appreciate Rickert's explorations of myth and memory.- -- Publishers Weekly -Short stories about people haunted by loss and transformed by grief. Ghosts walk through this collection. Witches are rumored. People collect bones, sprout wings, watch their feet turn into hooves. Above all, people tell stories--stories that cast spells, stories that change the world. In -Journey into the Kingdom, - a tale about ghosts who walk out of the sea has a powerful effect on a young widower. In -Anyway, - a mother asks herself what she would sacrifice to save her son's life. In the collection's longest story, -The Mothers of Voorhisville, - a group of women are drawn together when they realize their newborn babies have something very strange in common. Not every piece sings, but those that do have a powerful, haunting effect. As the mother of a dead girl puts it in -The Chambered Fruit, - the best of these stories show how -from death, and sorrow, and compromise, you create, - how -this is what it means...to be alive.- Rickert's (Holiday, 2010, etc.) writing is crystal-clear, moody, occasionally blood-chilling. Her characters maneuver through a world where strange, troubling transformations are possible, but they live and breathe on the page, fully human. The worlds Rickert creates are fantastical, but her work should appeal not just to fantasy fans, but to anyone who appreciates a well-told tale.- -- Kirkus Reviews -Rickert's latest collection contains haunting tales of death, love, and loss. In stories that are imbued with mythology, beasts, and fantastical transformations, Rickert captures the fanciful quality of regret and longing. . . . Rickert's blend of dark and whimsy is reminiscent of Angela Carter. Perfect for readers looking for something unique, melancholy, and fantastical.- -- Booklist "A few years ago Mary Rickert achieved the rare distinction of winning two World Fantasy Awards in one year, for a story and a collection. That story, 'Journey into the Kingdom, ' is a highlight of this retrospective collection. . . . The strangeness of Rickert's fiction is more than balanced by her acute insights into families and disturbed minds." Gary K. Wolfe, "Chicago Tribune" ""You Have Never Been Here" is stupid good. There s no other way to say it. This collection of short stories is at once uniform and eclectic; the stories share threadsboth thematic and aestheticthat bind them together, but each story is clearly and uniquely its own thing. The book opens with the story of a woman slowly turning into a deer, a story that begs to be metaphorized but actually thrives better without the clunkiness of questions like But what does her turning into a deer represent? And this is true for many of the stories in Rickert s collection: fantasy tales that at once ask the audience to find truth in them and at the same time question the nature of that truth. Reading this stories is an experience, and it s one everyone should have. And buoying up each story is Rickert s unbeatable prose. . . . I could go on about each of these stories. The way Rickert plays with form, always experimenting: in Cold Fires, she tells stories within the story, embedded narratives that, like a few of these pieces, draw on fairy tales and ricochet off one another. Or in You Have Never Been Here, the title story, how she messes with second person in a way that is at once creepy and fascinating. These stories stick with you after the reading, begging you to consider them further, to take another peek inside the book, to dig deeper into the characters and narrative. There s so much to say about each one, but I ll leave some of the mystery for you to discover on your own." "Hazel and Wren" "Mary Rickert s latest collection, "You Have Never Been Here, " packs a punch with stories that are quietly devastating and haunting in their strange imagery. "Campus Circle" Holiday Booklist "Beautiful, descriptive prose enriches tales of ghosts, loss, and regret in this leisurely collection. . . . Fans of Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link will appreciate Rickert s explorations of myth and memory." "Publishers Weekly" Short stories about people haunted by loss and transformed by grief. Ghosts walk through this collection. Witches are rumored. People collect bones, sprout wings, watch their feet turn into hooves. Above all, people tell storiesstories that cast spells, stories that change the world. In "Journey into the Kingdom," a tale about ghosts who walk out of the sea has a powerful effect on a young widower. In "Anyway," a mother asks herself what she would sacrifice to save her son's life. In the collection's longest story, "The Mothers of Voorhisville," a group of women are drawn together when they realize their newborn babies have something very strange in common. Not every piece sings, but those that do have a powerful, haunting effect. As the mother of a dead girl puts it in "The Chambered Fruit," the best of these stories show how "from death, and sorrow, and compromise, you create," how "this is what it means...to be alive." Rickert's ("Holiday, " 2010, etc.) writing is crystal-clear, moody, occasionally blood-chilling. Her characters maneuver through a world where strange, troubling transformations are possible, but they live and breathe on the page, fully human. The worlds Rickert creates are fantastical, but her work should appeal not just to fantasy fans, but to anyone who appreciates a well-told tale. "Kirkus Reviews" Rickert s latest collection contains haunting tales of death, love, and loss. In stories that are imbued with mythology, beasts, and fantastical transformations, Rickert captures the fanciful quality of regret and longing. . . . Rickert s blend of dark and whimsy is reminiscent of Angela Carter. Perfect for readers looking for something unique, melancholy, and fantastical. "Booklist" " "Beautiful, descriptive prose enriches tales of ghosts, loss, and regret in this leisurely collection. . . . Fans of Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link will appreciate Rickert s explorations of myth and memory." "Publishers Weekly" Short stories about people haunted by loss and transformed by grief. Ghosts walk through this collection. Witches are rumored. People collect bones, sprout wings, watch their feet turn into hooves. Above all, people tell storiesstories that cast spells, stories that change the world. In "Journey into the Kingdom," a tale about ghosts who walk out of the sea has a powerful effect on a young widower. In "Anyway," a mother asks herself what she would sacrifice to save her son's life. In the collection's longest story, "The Mothers of Voorhisville," a group of women are drawn together when they realize their newborn babies have something very strange in common. Not every piece sings, but those that do have a powerful, haunting effect. As the mother of a dead girl puts it in "The Chambered Fruit," the best of these stories show how "from death, and sorrow, and compromise, you create," how "this is what it means...to be alive." Rickert's ("Holiday, " 2010, etc.) writing is crystal-clear, moody, occasionally blood-chilling. Her characters maneuver through a world where strange, troubling transformations are possible, but they live and breathe on the page, fully human. The worlds Rickert creates are fantastical, but her work should appeal not just to fantasy fans, but to anyone who appreciates a well-told tale. "Kirkus Reviews" Rickert s latest collection contains haunting tales of death, love, and loss. In stories that are imbued with mythology, beasts, and fantastical transformations, Rickert captures the fanciful quality of regret and longing. . . . Rickert s blend of dark and whimsy is reminiscent of Angela Carter. Perfect for readers looking for something unique, melancholy, and fantastical. "Booklist" "

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