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, small-town 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.
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.