Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781602232877 Published March 2016
E-book $7.00 to $21.95 ISBN: 9781602232884 Published March 2016

Scavengers

Stories

Becky Hagenston

Scavengers

Becky Hagenston

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

232 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2016
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781602232877 Published March 2016
E-book $7.00 to $21.95 ISBN: 9781602232884 Published March 2016
A woman obsessed with reality TV encounters a sorority girl who has embarked on a very personal scavenger hunt. A man unexpectedly discovers that his father—a seemingly rational man—believes, seriously, in lake monsters. A woman whose husband has just survived a near-fatal accident flees to St. Petersburg, Russia, to wander through museums and palaces and simply try to forget. Hansel (yes, that Hansel), all grown up, tries to be a good father. A young girl begins to suspect that the séances being held in her basement just might not be as harmless as they seem.

These are the people and situations—where the familiar and bizarre intermix—that animate Becky Hagenston’s stories in Scavengers. From Mississippi to Arizona to Russia, characters find themselves faced with a choice: make sense of the past, or run from it. But Hagenston reminds us that even running can never be pure—so which parts of your past do you decide to hold on to? A brilliant collection from a master of short fiction, Scavengers is surprising, strange, and moving by turns—and wholly unforgettable.
Contents
Acknowledgements
The Afterlife
Scavengers
Arctic Circus
Puppet Town
Good Listener
The Lake
Secrets of Old-Time Science Experiments
Ivy Green
Crumbs
Let Yourself Go
Cool
Hilda
  
Review Quotes
Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding
"These elegant, moving stories by Becky Hagenston offer so much, their emotional scope reaching far beyond the narrative constraints of short fiction. You'll set down this book with a sad, knowing smile, understanding that our modest lives might not turn out as we hope, but there is a certain beauty to our frailty and humor and bruised-heart sadness."
Cary Holladay, author of Horse People: Stories
"Scavengers serves up Becky Hagenston’s lightsome prose and quirky humor to dazzling effect, with gorgeous, funny heartbreak on every page. These are beautiful, transcendent stories, where a moment’s impulse reveals a deeply rooted desire, where kissing a new friend or opening the door to a stranger can lead, as in a fairy tale, to an entirely new world, one that is startling, dangerous, and divine."
 
Brad Watson, author of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
"Becky Hagenston is so good, a true master of the short story, it's no wonder she keeps winning prizes for her fiction. She is wickedly funny, deadly smart, and her characters—desperate, abandoned, strange, sneaky, wonderfully strange and beautiful souls—never fail to deliver that devastating heart punch you know is coming and can't help but want. Scavengers is a heavyweight addition to her impressive and rapidly growing body of excellent work."
Michael Farris Smith, award-winning author of RIVERS and THE HANDS OF STRANGERS
"Becky Hagenston possesses a voice that is so pure, vivid, and true. Her sentences move with fluidity and grace and propel you forward as if being carried by the wind. We know her characters, see them in the grocery store or wave to them as they water the lawn across the street. But in the stories of Scavengers we are taken behind the emotional curtain and share in the struggle of what we hope for, how to get it, or do we even know."
Mississippi Clarion-Ledger
"Scavengers features twelve of the freshest, most inspiring pieces of short fiction I have read in years. . . .  These pieces are funny and devastating, often tinged with what some call 'magical realism,' and yes, profoundly and beautifully strange. . . . Scavengers is short fiction done right."
 
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