Book of the Week: Little Raw Souls, by Steven Schwartz
By Jeremiah Chamberlin
Our current feature is Steven Schwartz’’s newest collection, Little Raw Souls, which was published last week by Pittsburgh-based indie press Autumn House. Schwartz teaches in the residential MFA program at Colorado State University and the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College. Recently, he has become fiction editor at Colorado Review. He is the author of two story collections, To Leningrad in Winter (University of Missouri) and Lives of the Fathers (University of Illinois), and two novels, Therapy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and A Good Doctor’s Son (William Morrow). His fiction has received the Nelson Algren Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, the Cohen Award, the Colorado Book Award for the Novel, two O. Henry Prize Story Awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, and Bread Loaf. His essays have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Crazyhorse, Image, and have been awarded the Cleanth Brooks Prize in Nonfiction from The Southern Review.
In the introduction to Steven Wingate’s recent interview with Schwartz, he describes the stories in the collection, writing:
The narrating voices of the collection, whether first person or third, do not observe the world with the surprised uncertainty of the self-discovering ingenue. Instead they tend to discover trouble in familiar settings, often brought on by small but consequential changes in equilibrium.[...] Not every story follows this pattern; “Absolute Zero,” about a teenage would-be Marine with a dying mother, is one of the best stories I’ve read in this young century, and its changes in equilibrium are far from small. But the collection overall digs into those unexpected, tantalizing moments when we humans consider the possibility that the narratives we make of our lives to not cohere in precisely the way we think they do.
We’re giving away a copy of Little Raw Souls to three of our Twitter followers. To be eligible for this giveaway (and all future ones), simply click over to Twitter and “follow” us (@fictionwriters).
To all of you who are already fans, thank you!
Links and Resources:
- Visit Steven Schwartz’s author page.
- Read Colorado Review’s interview with Schwartz at the beginning of his tenure as fiction editor.
- We hope you’ll also check out Schwartz’s wonderful craft essay “Finding—and Losing—Memories in Fiction,” which we had the pleasure to publish in 2010.