In the Event of Contact chronicles characters profoundly affected by physical connection, or its lack. Among them, a scrappy teen vies to be the next Sherlock Holmes; an immigrant daughter must defend her decision to remain childless; a guilt-ridden woman is haunted by the disappearance of her childhood friend; a cantankerous crossing guard celebrates getting run over by a truck; an embattled priest with dementia determines to perform a heroic, redemptive act, if he can only remember how; and an aspirational, angst-ridden mother captains the skies.
Amidst backgrounds of trespass and absence, the indelible characters of In the Event of Contact seek renewed belief in themselves, recovery, and humanity.
Ethel Rohan is the author of In the Event of Contact, winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize. Her debut novel The Weight of Him (St. Martin’s Press and Atlantic Books, 2017) was an Amazon, Bustle, KOBO, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book, and was shortlisted for the Reading Women Award. She is also the author of the story collections Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the former longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and the latter longlisted for the Story Prize. Her work has appeared widely, including The New York Times, World Literature Today, The Washington Post, PEN America, Tin House, Guernica, and more. Raised in Ireland, she lives in San Francisco where she is a member of the Writers Grotto.
Read: Wilde, Bookanista
Review: Insurmountable Divides: On Ethel Rohan’s In the Event of Contact, LA Review of Books
Position yourself by the window. Begin by describing what you see, then write from your imagination.