Near Strangers

Winner of the 2023 Fiction Prize, selected by Pam Houston

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

Near Strangers

Winner of the 2023 Fiction Prize, selected by Pam Houston

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

About the Book

Near Strangers is a collection of eight tightly crafted short stories filled with unexpected connections. These stories center on resilient female protagonists and offer a view into queer life in America outside of its major coastal cities. The characters in Marian Crotty’s collection are searching—for understanding, acceptance, or forgiveness. In the title story, an elderly rape crisis volunteer’s advocacy for a survivor leads her to reexamine her role in estrangement from her son; in “Halloween,” a queer teen is counseled through heartbreak by her unlucky-in-love grandmother; and in “Family Resemblance,” a group of families whose children share the same sperm donor is disrupted by the arrival of a minor celebrity. While marginalization, loneliness, and bigotry hover in the distance of Near Strangers, the book’s tone is hopeful and invites readers to reflect on our shared human experience with empathy.


Praise for Near Strangers 

I loved spending time with the narrators of these eight stories, young people who pretend to misanthropy but are actually deeply in love with the world. Funny, soulful, wry, and more vulnerable than they intend to be, coming of age in the death throes of capitalism, at the rise of gender fluidity, doing their best to forge an identity at an increasingly precarious time.
—Pam Houston, author Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country

Marian Crotty is the author of the short story collection What Counts as Love, which was longlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her short stories have appeared in venues such as the Kenyon Review, The Sun, Ploughshares, and Best American Short Stories 2020. She has a BA […]

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