A widow visits a spiritualist community to attempt to contact her late husband. A grieving teenager confronts the unfairness of his small-town world and the oncoming ecological disaster. A sexual assault survivor navigates her boyfriend’s tricky family and her own confusing desires. A mother examines unresolved guilt while seeking her missing daughter in a city slum. A lover exploits his girlfriend’s secrets for his own purposes. Whether in Ecuador or San Francisco, rural Ontario or northern Manitoba, the landscape in each of Carter’s poignant short stories reflects each character’s journey.
Psychologically complex and astute, Places Like These plumbs the vast range of human reactions to those things which make us human—love, grief, friendship, betrayal, and the intertwined yet contrasting longing for connection and independence.
Praise for Places Like These
“The stories in Lauren Carter’s Places Like These explore the landscape of grief and anxiety that disrupt the quietude of so-called ordinary lives and places. Carter turns her penetrating writer’s gaze toward that which makes us human, the ways in which we must carry on, for better and for worse. I loved this highly readable collection.” —Nancy Jo Cullen, author of The Western Alienation Merit Badge
“Places Like These by Lauren Carter offers a magnetic and clear-eyed examination of the times in our lives when we can say we’ve truly lived. Told with Carter’s unmistakably world-bending lyricism, the stories in this collection splinter with moments of seismic recognition; they tug at the places in ourselves we’ve forgotten existed but inform who we are. An unforgettable read.” —Hollay Ghadery, author of Fuse
Alluring literature: 15 books to watch for in first half of 2023 —Winnipeg Free Press
Most Anticipated: Our 2023 Spring Fiction Preview —49th Shelf
86 works of Canadian fiction to read in the first half of 2023 —CBC Books
Places Like These: An Interview —Lucy Black, The Artisanal Writer
Lauren Carter at AW Live —The Artisanal Writer Live Podcasts
Read an Excerpt from Lauren Carter’s Beautiful & Devastating Places Like These —Open Book
Lauren Carter is the author of four previous books of fiction and poetry, including This Has Nothing to Do with You, winner of the 2020 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Her debut novel, Swarm, was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Carter’s stories and poems have been published widely in journals and longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes. Her short story “Rhubarb” won the Prairie Fire Fiction Award and was subsequently included in Best Canadian Stories in 2015. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. An Ontarian transplanted to Manitoba, Carter lives just outside of Winnipeg, where she writes, teaches writing, and mentors other writers. She writes regularly about her creative process at www.laurencarter.ca.
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