"Ellen Akins's world is like a knife: dangerous yet also deceptively ordinary. . . . Although her subtle prose can be gorgeous, the thought processes that it documents occasionally take challenging twists. Ms. Akins is a writer who demands real concentration, but the effort is well worth it. You won't find many epiphanies in this unadorned fiction--Ms. Akins is too much of a realist for that--but you will find gemlike interior moments that accumulate to create a complex and uncomfortable world."
--Cheri Fein, New York Times Book Review
"Once you've read Ellen Akins's novella, 'Arriving in the Dark,' you will never forget it."
--Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Ten powerful stories about people who are often caught up in circumstances out of control or not of their own making, and about a world of difficult choices, choices often forced upon them with unexpected endings."
Why the title?
A SYMPATHY, A WELCOME
by John Berryman, on the birth of his son, Paul
Feel for your bad fall how could I fail,
poor Paul, who had it so good.
I can offer you only: this world like a knife.
Yet you'll get to know your mother
and humourless as you do look you will laugh
and all the others
will not be fierce to you, and loverhood
will swing your soul like a broken bell
deep in a forsaken wood, poor Paul,
whose wild bad father loves you well.
For an excerpt of a recent story,
"A Matter of Days before the Collapse,"
see the Georgia Review
"Her Book"--a story in World Like a Knife--is included in the anthology
So the Story Goes
"George Bailey Fishing," first published in The Southwest Review,> appears in
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best 1988