stories by David Armstrong
Winner of the 2013 Leapfrog Fiction Contest
Blending the fantastical with universal truths about family and heartache, these stories show a wild, unruly America of the mind..
“In spare, sometimes wry prose, Armstrong evokes characters who always feel more than they can articulate, who find themselves in a place they don’t remember setting out for... It is Armstrong’s gift to weave the fantastic into the mundane in order to show us how ordinary lives are streaked with both terror and tenderness. Even the stories that don’t explicitly wander into Twilight Zone territory are fundamentally about mystery: how we love, why we can’t, how we continue on regardless.”
—Elizabeth Bales Frank
These stories occupy the space between dark realities and the fantastic leaps of faith people make to survive. A father seeks a way to deal with the unexpected death of his daughter, a heroin-addicted mother kidnaps her son to teach him about beauty, and expectant parents wrestle with doubt. But beneath the human struggle is prevailing wonder—a public pool with miraculous properties, a church that requires its parishioners to carry the plasticized hands of corpses, a dog at a gas station with insight about a man’s marital indiscretions, and a worldwide epidemic of ghosts. Connecting them all is the journey: people traveling in search of solace, insight, clarity, and purpose, gathering up their own lives into discernible pieces of fact and conviction in the hopes of getting it right.
“David Armstrong’s prose is rock-solid, like the landscapes he describes so well, and beautifully, carefully crafted. The stories in Going Anywhere capture, with deep and quiet empathy, the American compulsion to hit the road in hard times, striking out not to escape but to meditate on and move through grief, loss, and the mysteriously painful processes of being fully and emotionally alive.”
—Maile Chapman, author of Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto
“Gritty and constantly surprising, each story in Going Anywhere bears the deep resonance of a novel. David Armstrong peoples his worlds with wounded, volatile characters shoved to life’s periphery. Like Flannery O’Connor and Chris Offutt, he looks long where others would look away. A tremendous collection of marvelous stories.”
—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn (winner of The Story Prize)
About the Author
David Armstrong’s stories have won the Mississippi Review Prize, Yemassee’s William Richey Short Fiction Contest, the New South Writing Contest, and Jabberwock Review’s Prize for Fiction, among other awards. His latest stories appear in Narrative Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Best of Ohio Short Stories, and elsewhere. His story collection drive/memory, won the 2013 Emergency Press International Book Contest. He was awarded a Black Mountain Institute PhD Fellowship in Creative Writing (Fiction) and served as fiction editor of Witness magazine before receiving his PhD from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A lecturer in creative writing and literature at Gonzaga University, he now lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife, Melinda.
Going Anywhere • David Armstrong
212 pages • ISBN 978-1-935248-61-3 • Trade paperback, $15.95 • November 2014
Published by Leapfrog Press LLC • www.leapfrogpress.com
Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution • www.cbsd.com