Bodies In Trouble by Diane Carley

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Forced intimacies, dead dogs, errant balloons, a troubled chef’s encounter with ethereal Swedish lesbians, all form this remarkable short story collection, Bodies in Trouble, depicting characters coping with faltering relationships, simmering violence, and light-drenched visions. Stories of damaged daughters and abandoned sons, of near-crashes, lost loves, and late nights steeped in regret. Lurking within these tales is the glimmer of hope from a brave choice, a bold action, the recalibration of a dangerous path.

Diane Carley's story collection Bodies in Trouble is full of characters in search of love, full of desire, and punishing, thwarted obsessions. There are wise children who are disappointed by their parents, chameleons, cupcakes and grief, there is humour and grit. These characters will give a bolt of recognition - they are you and me. Carley is a lean, strong writer - every word matters. She's the love child of Raymond Carver and Alice Munro, Sharp, sensitive, excellent stories full of emotion, like putting your hand over a racing heart. This writing is as vivid as it gets.

- Lisa Moore, author of This is How We Love

Bodies in Trouble collects the details of love, change and personal turmoil into a cascade of stories that leave you bereft and hopeful all at once. With cool, taut prose, Diane Carley tells about lives of women and girls that are filled with desire, loss and transformation. This book is quietly tense and brutally human.”

- Carmella Gray-Cosgrove, author of Nowadays and Lonelier

There is a rare honesty to the stories in Bodies in Trouble. Human failings aren’t brushed into corners, they are pinpointed with a sharp and interrogating light. Diane Carley’s writing explores relationships where economic and power disparities create disconnects between those that are meant to be allies. Her stories challenge the myth of unconditional familial love. There is a solid bravery to Carley’s protagonists, women who revolt with quiet defiance, who persevere, and who live extraordinary lives in the guise of the ordinary. Carley’s voice is distinct, queer, and true.

- Susie Taylor, author of Even Weirder Than Before