Author Talk with Lucy Ferriss and Ethan Rutherford (In-Person)

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About Foreign Climes

The stories in Foreign Climes are linked by place, or more exactly by the strangeness of new places, new territories both geographical and psychological. They proceed from a young person's sense of boundaries to an older person's breaking through boundaries-and then beyond, to a voice that constructs the world by way of possibilities both found and left unexplored.

Some of the stories take their protagonists literally to strange, unsteady ground. A teenaged narrator travels from leafy North Carolina to the desert to engage in battle against a boy he calls "Minnesota," a stand-in for a greater battle against his parents' dissolving marriage. A young Pashtun woman from northern Pakistan finds herself in cold New England amid the overwhelming landscape of her own desire. An American working abroad struggles to find her place in a relationship that seems unbound by language.

Other stories encounter alienation closer to home. A swaggering poker shark confronts a brutality unleashed by the exploitive nature of his world. A woman leaving her marriage finds an entire life in the lineaments of a house she'll never inhabit. A mother crosses a chasm to reach a son steeped in mania.

"People don't change," the poet Charles Olsen wrote. "They only stand more revealed." These stories reveal the heart and the potential of the people within them by thrusting them into those places of discomfort and exhilaration that leave us all naked before the world.


Lucy Ferriss is the author of eleven books, including her latest collection, Foreign Climes: Stories, which received the Brighthorse Books Prize; and the 2022 re-release of her prescient novel, The Misconceiver. Other recent work includes the 2015 novel A Sister to Honor, as well as essays and short fiction in American Scholar, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Forthcoming in 2023 is a book of essays from Wandering Aengus Press, Meditations on a New Century. She is Writer in Residence Emerita at Trinity College. Lucy lives with her husband, Don Moon, in Connecticut and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.


About Farthest South: Stories

A baby is born with gills.  Foxes raise and then lose a human child.  A man, in the final throes of his deathbed fever dream, experiences a cross-Antarctic voyage.  In each of the finely tuned and deeply affecting stories collected in Farthest South, parental bonds and the possibilities of family happiness are tested, and commingle with something darker.  These are narratives of familial love and tenderness, sung in an anxious and thrilling key.

“Ethan Rutherford is one of our great artists of catastrophe. Drawing on landscapes both mythic—the fairytale, the ghost story—and domestic, this collection illuminates terrors that feel at once prescient and eternal. Farthest South is a masterpiece.” – Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold A Wolf by the Ears and The Third Hotel

Ethan Rutherford’s fiction has appeared in BOMB, Tin House, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction, Post Road, Esopus, Conjunctions, and The Best American Short Stories.  His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, a finalist for the John Leonard Award, received honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and was the winner of a Minnesota Book Award.  Born in Seattle, Washington, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and now teaches Creative Writing at Trinity College.  He lives in Hartford, Connecticut with his wife and two children.

His second collection, Farthest South, was published by A Strange Object in May 2021, and a novel, North Sun, will be published in 2024.