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Rachel Swearingen in conversation with Kate Wisel, "How to Walk on Water"

Join us for the launch of Rachel Swearingen's debut story collection How to Walk on Water! Swearingen will be joined by Kate Wisel, author of Driving in Cars with Homeless Men!


Event is free, but pre-registration is required. Please RSVP at

About How to Walk on Water: In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. 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 son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. 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.

About Rachel Swearingen: Rachel Swearingen’s stories and essays have appeared in VICE, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, Agni, American Short Fiction, and others. Her debut story collection, How to Walk on Water was the winner of the 2018 New American Fiction Prize. She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. In 2019, she was named one of “30 Writers to Watch” by the Guild Literary Complex. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD from Western Michigan University. She currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

About Driving in Cars with Homeless Men: Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bards, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of working-class Boston.

Serena, Frankie, Raffa and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Through the gritty, unraveling truths of their lives, they find themselves in the bed of an overdosed lover, through the panting tongue of a rescue dog who is equally as dislanguaged as his owner, in the studio department of a compulsive liar, sitting backward but going forward in the galley of an airplane, in relationships that are at once playgrounds and cages.

About Kate Wisel: Kate Wisel is the author of Driving in Cars With Homeless Men, winner of the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, selected by Min Jin Lee. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Gulf Coast, Tin House online, Los Angeles Review, New Ohio Review, The Best Small Fictions 2019, Norton Anthology: Flash Fiction America, Redivider (as winner of the Beacon Street Prize), and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the “Poetry on the T” prize and the Marcia Keach Prize. She was a Carol Houck fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and awarded scholarships at The Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, the Juniper Institute, Writing x Writer’s at Tomales Bay and Methow Valley and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University.


Event date: 
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
How to Walk on Water and Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941561225
Availability: Special Order- EITHER on our shelves or available to order
Published: New American Press - October 1st, 2020

Driving in Cars with Homeless Men: Stories (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822966272
Availability: Special Order- EITHER on our shelves or available to order
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - September 15th, 2020

Events Terms: 
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