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Tell Me Who We Were: Stories (Hardcover)

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"These are stories of magical lyricism, contemporary in their exploration of the obsessions of girls and young women, mythic in their scope and mystery. Remarkable." -- Joyce Carol Oates

Lyrical, intimate, and incisive, Tell Me Who We Were explores the inner worlds of girls and women, the relationships we cherish and betray, and the transformations we undergo in the simple act of living.

It begins with a drowning. One day Mr. Arcilla, the romance language teacher at Briarfield, an all-girls boarding school, is found dead at the bottom of Reed Pond. Young and handsome, the object of much fantasy and fascination, he was adored by his students. For Lilith and Romy, Evie and Claire, Nellie and Grace, he was their first love, and their first true loss.

In this extraordinary collection, Kate McQuade explores the ripple effect of one transformative moment on six lives, witnessed at a different point in each girl’s future. Throughout these stories, these bright, imaginative, and ambitious girls mature into women, lose touch and call in favors, achieve success and endure betrayal, marry and divorce, have children and struggle with infertility, abandon husbands and remain loyal to the end.  


About the Author

Black Warrior Review, Harvard Review, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Lily, LitHub, and TIME Magazine. She has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Ucross Foundation, and Yaddo, and teaches at Phillips Academy, Andover.

Praise For…

— Joyce Carol Oates

— Boston Globe

— Minneapolis Star Tribune

Tell Me Who We Were are united by ferociously complicated women wrestling with pain and desire in a vividly unsettled world. Kate McQuade is a spectacular writer, equal parts sensitive and fearless, and Tell Me Who We Were is abundant with heartbreak and wonder.” ]]>
— Laura Van Den Berg, author of Find Me

— Clare Beams, author of We Show What We Have Learned

— Annie Hartnett, author of Rabbit Cake

— Anne Valente, author of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

Tell Me Who We Were is the most refreshing work of contemporary literature I’ve read in years....The roots of this book are in ancient literature, but its spirit is stirringly Twenty-first Century.  A virtuoso performance!”  ]]>
— David Huddle, author of The Story of a Million Years and The Faulkes Chronicles

— Keija Parssinen, author of The Unraveling of Mercy Louis
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062869791
ISBN-10: 0062869795
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019
Pages: 208
Language: English