The Dead Still Here
by Laura Valeri
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Mapping stories set in Europe and America, The Dead Still Here skillfully paces through eleven short stories about friends-with-benefits typed relationships, vicious divorces and thievery, the loss of a child, the loss of a mother, and the Coast Guard and the Navy rescuing refugees from a bad storm at sea. Laura Valeri writes one single breathtaking sentence about sex, Dear John emails, and Christmas presents in Liabilities of a Love Misguided and displays a sharp sense of paranoia based on everyone looking at the narrator, laughing, whispering in What They Know. Along with characters that are irrevocably locked in their heads, Valeri includes a guide on how to take medication in Prescription for Life, which subtly points to the other hallucinatory narratives. This collection is at once provocative and lucid, and it offers various angles of characters looking for a relationship to hold.
“Laura Valeri is one savvy, lyrical, and fearless writer, and The Dead Still Here carries us away to places we’ve never been before. Here’s a storyteller at the top of her game writing about shattered lives and broken dreams, about refugees and grieving mothers, and who knows that nothing is as it seems. Here are eleven rattling, lyrical, and dazzling stories to savor and to celebrate.”
—John Dufresne author of I Don’t Like Where This Is Going
The stories in The Dead Still Here vibrate with originality, sensuality, and the strange. These exquisitely plotted stories reveal the many ways that our society silences art, intuition, and love. Multi-cultural and precisely attuned to the perils and sorrows of our times, Valeri’s collection solidifies her place as one of the finest writers of contemporary fiction.
—Sandy Rodriguez Barron, author of Stay With Me and The Heiress of Water