Sara Rauch’s ‘What Shines from It’ is the winner of the 2017 Electric Book Award from Alternating Current Press.
We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Electric Book Award, honoring publication, prize recognition, a cash honorarium, and full publicity packages to an unpublished manuscript. The finalist manuscripts were judged blind by the Alternating Current Editorial Staff, who collectively selected the winner from the finalists. We feel that this incredible manuscript deserves publication and attention, and the winning book will be published in 2018. We are proud to present the winner of the Electric Book Award:
What Shines from It
The eleven stories in What Shines from It are rife with physical and psychic gashes; the collection found its title in an Anne Carson poem — “If all the lamps in the house were turned out, / you could dress this wound / by what shines from it.”
In “Beholden,” girl meets boy meets the unsettled spirits of post-9/11 New York City, but her future can’t hold them all. In “Kitten,” a struggling veteran and his wife argue over adopting an abandoned kitten, deepening their financial and emotional rifts. In “A State of Abandon,” a ghost-baby ravages a woman’s body following a late-term miscarriage, all teeth and claws. And in the title story, a married potter falls in love with a married geologist and discovers the luminosity and hard-won beauty of being broken.
Character-driven and nuanced, What Shines from It takes a cue from Michael Cunningham’s subtle explorations of sexuality and relationship, with an eye toward uncanny imagery à la Dan Chaon, and — like the short stories in Sarah Hall’s The Beautiful Indifference — here the natural world exerts an inescapable influence. Smart, flawed, stumbling yet hopeful, the characters of What Shines from It bump up against the circumstances of their lives with all the courage and grace they can muster.
Sara Rauch holds an MFA in Fiction from Pacific University, where she studied with Pete Fromm, Katherine Dunn, and Christine Sneed. She’s a long-time book reviewer for Lambda Literary Review. In 2012, she founded the literary magazine, Cactus Heart, where she served as Fiction and Managing Editor for four years. Writing-project-wise, she is currently finishing up a personal essay collection.
“What Shines from It is a classic story collection made contemporary. Familiar plots and settings become refreshed with new angles, and stories that appear placid reveal tremendous depth and nuance. The characters in these stories are complex, tender, and deeply human.” — Eric Shonkwiler, author of 8th Street Power & Light, Moon Up, Past Full, and Above All Men, and Acquisitions Editor for Alternating Current Press.
We are proud to be putting forth this book from Alternating Current Press in 2018. Please stay tuned to our website and news feeds for further information as the book unfolds.