The Maze, copyright Mark Holmes

The Maze, copyright Mark Holmes

Among the Wounded is a collection of short stories about the relationships people forge between one another and with the natural world in an effort to heal the wounds we suffer in life. The stories are about how humanity accepts, or rebels against, human suffering, and how these wounds affect us.

I am currently seeking a publisher for this collection.

In each story the theme of loss, separation and alienation is explored from a different angle. In some stories, such as the title piece “Among the Wounded” or “The Crazy River,” what has been lost is a deep and abiding connection with the natural world. In others, such as “The Pelican’s Grace,” the trauma of losing the ability to function normally after a tragic accident is examined. In the “Secret Language of a Winter River” or “Hot Springs,” we see people wracked by abuse struggle to come to grips with their past and chart a new course into the future. “The Maze” explores the loss of sanity that accompanies one man’s descent into the red rock wilderness.

In each story the characters are ornately drawn and human, and invite the reader to join them on their journey to understand their losses and to share in their discoveries. The stories in Among the Wounded take liberty with the boundaries of what is real, and what is fantasy, to create vivid landscapes and scenarios to explore their themes.

The characters in Among the Wounded do not always triumph over their challenges. Sometimes they fail altogether. But each story is rich with the drama of the human condition and the hope that through our relationships with each other and with the natural world, we might better equip ourselves for an existence among the wounded. Among the Wounded features the exquisite pen and ink drawings of Mark Holmes, who illustrated my first book, Carry Tiger to Mountain.

To read a serialized version of the title story to this collection, click here.