stone baby, michelle sacks, stories, book

Stone Baby: Stories

This debut collection of stories by Michelle Sacks features characters from many walks of life, scattered around the globe—a young Irish woman backpacking in India, an ambitious black South African businessman, a roving killer for hire, a former SS officer. Their stories usually lead them—and us—to pivotal events that reveal unexpected, hidden truths.

Working on a large canvas that encompasses the extremes of rural Africa and urban London, material poverty and the surfeit of privilege, Sacks writes stories peopled by characters whose lives occasionally crisscross, with a protagonist in one story playing a deceptively small role in another. The stories artfully illuminate the rich interconnections and clashes that occur as her characters strike out boldly, yet find themselves at the mercy of capricious waves of circumstance.

Stone Baby explores movement, loss, and reinvention in the lives of people who are in the wrong place, in the wrong body, perhaps in the wrong life—it encapsulates an engrossing and urgent message in our age of migration and dislocation.

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"What tough-minded, original stories these are—knowing, disturbing, and full of dazzling talent.  As the settings move from Cape Town to Berlin to Bali to Dublin, we follow a superb array of characters (splendid, evil, and everything in between) in a cycle of harming and helping.  Stone Baby is a chronicle of high-risk adventures and emergency escapes–-wonderfully told and quite unforgettable." — Joan Silber, author of Fools and Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories

“Michelle Sacks’s stories invoke a gritty, conversational lyricism that is quite beautiful and engaging. There is a thematic continuity running throughout—a worldliness and an intimacy, a deep interest in wayward psychology, and a sort of relentless search for relationship and family, both invented and real. The stories do not shy away from difficulty, and this makes them honest, genuine, and interesting. This is a beautifully written and meticulously crafted collection.” — Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat and Other Stories and The City Is a Rising Tide

More information about Stone Baby is available from Northwestern University Press.