Leesa Cross-Smith
So We Can Glow: Stories

So We Can Glow: Stories

From the publisher: "A lush, glittering short story collection exploring female obsession and desire by an award-winning author Roxane Gay calls 'a consummate storyteller.' From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories -- ranging from the 80's and 90's to present day -- expose expose the hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness, and more. Leesa Cross-Smith's sensuous stories -- some long, some gone in a flash, some told over text and emails -- drench readers in nostalgia for summer nights and sultry days. They recall the intense friendships of teenage girls and the innate bonds between mothers, the first heady rush of desire, and the pure exhilaration of womanhood, all while holding up the wild souls of women so they can catch the light."

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
This Close to Okay

This Close to Okay

Cross-Smith's second novel (following her 2020 short story collection So We Can Glow) is a hard read in many ways and yet the story sucked me right in, and the propulsive plot kept me turning the pages. Though the subject matter is weighty, a strong sense of humor and snappy dialogue kept this book from feeling overwhelming (for me, but please mind your triggers). An added bonus was the novel's setting in the real-but-not-real location of Louisville; I enjoyed puzzling over which thinly disguised businesses, neighborhoods, and cities Cross-Smith had in mind. Heads up for an open door scene and serious content, including depression and suicide.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Bookshop