Patricia Henley’s first novel, Hummingbird House, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1999 and the New Yorker Fiction Prize in 2000. Her second novel, In the River Sweet, was published by Pantheon in 2002 and released in paperback in 2004. Her publications also include three collections of stories, Friday Night at Silver Star, The Secret of Cartwheels, and Worship of the Common Heart. She has taught in the MFA program at Purdue since 1987.
Learn more about Patricia at her author site, patriciahenley.org.
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Hardcover Special Edition available only from Engine Books. With an interview with Patricia by Bill Roorbach of Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour and a selection of audio stories read by the author. (Audio stories available exclusively from enginebooks.org.)
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eBook ISBN: 978-0-9385477-5-4
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In this collection of elegant, moving stories, Patricia Henley explores the many bonds and betrayals among women: mothers, daughters, lovers, friends. Her characters, at once familiar and surprising, make their way through grief and discovery, revealing the power of their own hearts and of the landscapes where they reside. In "Rocky Gap," June Peck and her family gather to honor their lost sister; in "Red Lily" the secrets and lies Jenny Rogers keeps and tells will change her life; in the haunting and hopeful "Ephemera," Sophie March-Gonzales faces the worst kind of loss, and through that loss, finds a future to cherish.
Her last book, In the River Sweet, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Dispatch. It was a BookSense pick and a Border's Original Voices selection for October 2002.
“…characters so psychologically and emotionally complex, you’d swear you know them.” —SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
“To be absorbed in these love stories—between mothers and daughters,
friends and lovers, husbands and wives—is to be held in suspension above the richness that life has to offer.” —LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR
“These are tough and tender stories that mourn the loss of the ‘deliciousness’ of crazy love and ponder the inexplicability of lust.” —MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE
“Each story is intricately plotted and drawn, full of surprises and pathos, and gut-wrenchingly real.” —BOOKLIST
"Other Heartbreaks features the give and take between women when it comes to matters of love, family, and the yearning of the spirit. These stories resonate with the hard-earned wisdom of women moving through the nebulous expanse between what was and what will be. Henley's finely crafted prose, lush and precise, provides a glorious chorus of these women's voices, so rich with their frustrations, regrets, hopes, and joys. This is a book to read slowly and to savor, being, as we are, in the hands of a master."
—Lee Martin, author of Break the Skin and The Bright Forever
"In Other Heartbreaks Patricia Henley once again displays her great gifts as a storyteller. She can capture the telling moment in a phrase; conjure a character onto the page with a single piercing sentence. This collection, full of glittering insights and moral complexity, rewards the reader's attention in the best way."
—Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona
"All of us ardent Patricia Henley fans have cause for rejoicing. Her long-anticipated collection of new stories has arrived, and it is splendid. The characters in Other Heartbreaks are achingly familiar as they strive to connect, even as the obstacles they face in that striving reside within themselves. The sweet sadness of life shimmers in these tales. Patricia Henley is one of our culture's finest chroniclers of the human heart."
—Robert Olen Butler, author of A Small Hotel
"Other Heartbreaks is now my go-to gift for all the readers I know—and what a gift it is. These stories braid elegance, wisdom, and a certain raw quality to stunningly moving effect. Patricia Henley writes with the clear advantage of knowing more than seems possible about how human beings love, lose, and continue to live. A brilliant, important collection of stories."
—Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This