Rachel Swearingen's debut, How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, presents stories that bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A down-on-his-luck son moves in with his elderly mother and tries to piece together the brutal attack she survived when he was a baby. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.