You move away, but spend whole days thinking of your hometown. Up the hill, past the gravel pit, an Elvis impersonator is leaning on his parked car. On Memorial Day, you put flowers on your great grandmother’s grave and spend an afternoon wondering about her life. In your sister’s first apartment, there are terrible figures drawn on the walls with Sharpies. You take a figure drawing class and the model, a skinny blonde woman, opens her mail and cries while you draw her. You learn that your great grandmother was a widow, that her town was a community of widows, a whole street renamed in their honor: La Strada Delle Vedove, the Street of Widows.
In Cassie Fancher’s debut collection of stories, small town American women navigate grief and loss. Piecing together images from her own life, Cassie creates stories that prioritize not the trauma itself but the relationships these women find in order to survive. This collection, and the characters within, consider home from afar, from close up, from the past and the present.
Cassie Fancher grew up in New Haven, Vermont. She is a graduate of Hampshire College. This is her first book and it was the 2018 winner of the annual Howard Frank Mosher First Novel or Short Story Collection Book Prize judged by PEN-New England winner Robin MacArthur.