Download the first story here.
Available Light is a collection of eighteen short stories, some humorous, others darker, but all with the underlying theme of how love complicates our actions. Whether they are trying to protect their loved ones, draw them closer, or drive them away, the characters sow confusion and struggle with the unforeseen consequences of inescapable misunderstanding.
Some of the heroes have loved each other for many years; others have only met. In “Get Drunk and Screw,” a woman’s sudden giddy, tipsy behavior leads her husband to suspect an affair, until a call from her oncologist tells him the grim truth. “A Little White Chapel on the Beach” tells of a 14-year-old runaway’s elaborate efforts to hide her intended elopement with a man a decade her senior. “Brother” is a World War II era tale of a young boy willing to kill to defend his employer’s young wife. Told in subtle, lyrical language, the stories draw imagery and metaphor from their vivid surroundings, ranging from Southern beach towns to the Nevada desert.
The author is Phillip Gardner, a three-time South Carolina Fiction Project winner and Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open winner. His stories have appeared in the North American Review, New Delta Review, LIT, Interim, The Chattahoochee Review, and elsewhere. Available Light is his third short story collection, following Someone To Crawl Back To (2003) and Somebody Wants Somebody Dead (2012) (Boson Books).
Ron Rash, author of Serena and One Foot in Eden, says, “This new collection leaves no doubt that Phillip Gardner is in the first tier of the South’s finest short story writers. His empathetic imagination, vivid language, and understanding of what makes a memorable story are of the first order. His voice is utterly his own. Available Light takes the reader beyond the realm of pain and pleasure and into the sublime.”
Visit the author’s website at http://www.phillipjgardner.com/