Scrabbling for ways to believe in themselves and the world, the spirited, heart-driven people who populate these stories find surprising pockets of hope. A woman returns to the Alaskan cabin of her survivalist childhood, full of misgivings and memories. A trip to Yellowstone sparks a crisis for a man who feels kinship with the wolves he glimpses there. Nursing painful pasts, sisters take a cruise together to Antarctica. A runaway finds salvation from violence in her own singing. And in the title novella, a Grand Canyon rafting expedition profoundly changes the lives of six women.
Refusing to buckle under the pressures of family and political traumas, the sojourners in this collection are unified by themes of creative expression and of love—how we define it, how we are impelled by it, and how we are lifted by it.
About the Author
Lucy Jane Bledsoe is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels A Thin Bright Line and The Big Bang Symphony and the adventure essay collection The Ice Cave. She has traveled the length of the Grand Canyon, skied through Yellowstone National Park, kayaked and hiked in Alaska, and voyaged several times to Antarctica. She lives in Berkeley, California.
"In these twelve remarkable stories, the reader journeys from the remotest inner reaches of Alaska to deceptively calm suburban neighborhoods to a research station at the bottom of the world. Yet Lucy Jane Bledsoe's true territory is the wild, uncharted expanse of the heart. A wise and wonderful collection." —Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas
"This novella and group of stories by Lucy Jane Bledsoe will move and surprise and thrill you. She brings us right into her characters' lives, taking us on unexpected journeys. Through it all,the empowered and vulnerablewomen in this lively fictional world continually find themselves, so as readers welearn more about survival and are reminded of hope. We find ourselves delightfully renewed." —Allen Gee, author ofMy Chinese-America
"From Antarctica to suburbia to the ancient past and a post-apocalyptic future, these tales of kick-ass women adventurers and survivor girls are big-hearted, breathtaking, and profound. Reading Lava Falls is like meeting an animal in the wild: I was rapt, unable to turn away, with no idea what would happen next." —Micah Perks, author of What Becomes Us
“In these stories of shattered bedrocks and rocked foundations, Bledsoe’s guile in her craft leaves characters and readers with insightful gems that cut through the rubble. Perhaps most poignant is the grandfather in ‘Wildcat’ who tells his daughter, ‘You just can’t cage a person.’ These stories attest to that wisdom. People need space, whether physical or psychological, in order to move freely about their lives.”—Necessary Fiction