- PUBLISHED: December 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Literature / Fiction
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 176 Pages, 6 x 9 in
- ISBN: 9781955082006
- Publisher: Willow Springs Books
In Sustainable Living, the backwoods and small towns of the upper Midwest are places not to run from, but to return to, to seek refuge in, and to discover unsettling truths. A woman returns to the carp-fishing village where she grew up, only to discover that her widowed mother has found happiness with a decades-younger man. In the aftermath of trauma, a teenage girl is caught between domestic duties and the pull of the natural world. An aimless woman becomes a caretaker for her mother’s elderly ex-husband, an artistic recluse who is resistant to her efforts. The women in these stories are tied to the land they inhabit, coming of age on rivers and lakes and among hunters and fishermen, dependent on tourist economies to make a living. Their desires are stifled by harsh climates, poverty, and difficult family relationships; what unites them is their quest to sustain themselves and a longing for connection—sometimes found in unexpected people and places.
Authors & Contributors
Elsa Nekola is a writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. Her short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Nimrod International Journal, Witness, the Cincinnati Review’s miCRo series, Passages North, and other journals. Sustainable Living is her first book.
There’s an elegiac quality to these stories of family life and work in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Survival isn’t guaranteed; it’s easy to fail. Innocence confronts indifference in an environment that is as cruel as it is beautiful. Magically the reader hears, beyond the human struggles, the betrayals and reconciliations, a calm, seductive voice eternally calling the young, the lonely, and the unwary back to the forest.- Valerie Martin, author of eleven novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and Property, four collections of short fiction, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi titled Salvation