Nothing Brave Here
short stories by Joan Cenedella
Lovers of the short story will marvel at the range and depth of this collection. The stories in Nothing Brave Here introduce compelling characters from differing backgrounds and stages of life, each on his or her way to someplace new. They do their best, and even when that best is not quite good enough, you will want to know them; their solutions to their predicaments are smart, surprising, natural. While varied in form and content, Cenedella’s stories reliably engage our insight and compassion.
Nothing Brave Here delivers insights about universal themes: the struggle for acceptance; the yearning to fit in; the anguish of being different; and the power of memory. In the words of Mrs. Digby, a character in this collection, Joan Cenedella writes “about life and loving and leaving and letting go.” She puts the ebb and flow of everyday life under the microscope, inviting us to examine singular moments, special places, relationships, and moods.
Elaine Wolf, author of Danny’s Mom
Cenedella takes us deep inside her characters, building tension and sympathy at the same time. I felt as if I was trapped in Harvey’s massive body, imprisoned in his toxic world. And yet, I loved him. And Sasha, with her misguided friendship, and Jonathan, seeking closure. Such human dilemmas, vulnerable reactions. Masterful.
Susanne Dunlap, author of Emilie’s Voice
“You give what you love, not necessarily what someone needs”— Cenedella examines this idea from all angles in her beautifully written, emotionally astute collection of short stories. Nothing Brave Here is a tender, touching, poignant, and (I daresay) brave book.
Jennifer Rosner, author of If A Tree Falls