In these stories, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. A new couple navigates a tightrope walk toward love. And on a trip to a Texas water park with their son, two fathers each confront a personal fear.
With sentences that crackle and spark and showcase her trademark wit, McCracken traces how our closely held desires—for intimacy, atonement, comfort—bloom and wither against the indifferent passing of time. Her characters embark on journeys that leave them indelibly changed—and so do her readers. The Souvenir Museum showcases the talents of one of our finest contemporary writers as she tenderly takes the pulse of our collective and individual lives.
Elizabeth McCracken is the author of five books, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry, The Giant’s House (a National Book Award finalist), Niagara Falls All Over Again, the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, and Thunderstruck & Other Stories (winner of the 2014 Story Prize, longlisted for the National Book Award). She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and she was chosen as one of Granta’s 20 Best American Writers Under 40. She has served on the faculty at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently holds the James Michener Chair for Fiction at the University of Texas at Austin.
Read: The Irish Wedding, The Atlantic
Review: The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken review – delightful domestic stories, The Guardian
Prompt: Write about the weather inside you. Begin by describing how you feel then free-write for 10 mins.