Fiction writer Kat Gardiner has shared a few excerpts from her debut story collection Little Wonder, out Oct. 5 through Father/Daughter, via KEXP.
Little Wonder is “an adult coming-of-age story told in fragments” about Gardiner’s experience owning and operating an all-ages music venue/cafe in Anacortes, Wash. She operated the cafe for one year exactly before closing it down due to the recession. Little Wonder is a meditation on that year, an exploration of “the bittersweet love affair that takes place between despair and hope whenever you try with all your heart to do something you believe in, and fail,” per a press release.
The stories here are microbursts of emotion, often only a few paragraphs long. They’re a cross-pollination of literary and musical influences, like if Lydia Davis grew up crying to K Records tapes, or if Ray Carver was haunted by coastal loneliness instead of suburban dread. They feature a cast of musicians who are essential to the Pacific Northwest scene, including Neko Case, Karl Blau, Calvin Johnson and more. Read an excerpt from “The Metamorphosis of Little Wings” below:
Warble voice and piano strings. His hair, the sea, moved with its own sway. His fingers melted into the keys, became a part of them. His hands, arms, married their way through the ivory, past the felt hammers, all the way to the heartstrings themselves until he was gone and we were gone and all that was left was the world deconstructing around song.
The rest of this story and others can be read over at KEXP. Little Wonder is available for preorder here. Find Gardiner’s live reading dates below.
Kat Gardiner Live Reading Dates:
19 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ Literati Books (w/ Emily Godfrey)
20 – Detroit, Mich. @ Third Man Records (w/ Fred Thomas, Patricia Wheeler, and Cherise Morris)
27 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Warby Parker (hosted by Books Are Magic (w/ Roberta Allen, Paul Beckman, Francine Witte)
19 – Boston, Mass. @ Brookline Booksmith (w/ Amy Fusselman, Esther Gerritsen)
02 – Portland, Ore. @ Powell’s (w/ Rebecca Rasmussen)
07 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Lucky’s Comics (w/ Garbage Dreams)
09 – Seattle, Wash. @ Vermillion (w/ Whitney Ballen & Sarah Gavin)
13 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Green Apple Books on the Park
(w/ Sea of Bees, Rose Droll)
15 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Love Song Bar (w/ Little Wings, Amy Fleisher Madden)