In Little Raw Souls, award-winning author Steven Schwartz writes of loss and replenishment in eleven suspenseful and affecting stories. Set in the contemporary American West, the stories take on the identity of a place where tradition is still a work in progress and acts of self-discovery arise for characters at any age. In “Stranger,” a woman falls asleep in an airport, only to become the victim of a crime by a man who robs and kisses her at the same time. A divorced man in “Bless Everybody,” winner of the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, finds himself threatened by the young couple he tries to aid. And in “Absolute Zero,” a seventeen-year-old boy, needing his dying mother’s permission to join the Marines, experiences a startling encounter with the promiscuous teenage daughter of a Marine sergeant he looks up to. Steven Schwartz’s stories never stand still. With pathos and humor, they probe ahead, searching out the tender souls of his characters.
“All of these 11 stories arrest the reader from their opening paragraphs . . . a collection to be held up as evidence that the short story not only endures but also flourishes.”
–Booklist, starred review