Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.
Agnes has been drifting away from herself. People look through her, her husband doesn’t understand her, and lately, she’s begun losing the sensations in her body. When a tube of shoplifted lipstick awakens her back to life, an impulse for stealing emerges that leads her to a court-ordered service at a camp for grieving children. While initially hoping only that the time there will help her give up stealing, Agnes soon learns that she can use objects to connect grieving children with the spirits of their parents. She must navigate the choice between using her compulsion for her own pleasure and helping the bereaved. Luminaries is about the things we take and about the things that are taken from us. It asks what it means to exist in lives filled with loss, to reach for the things we hope will restore us, and the risks we’re willing to take to ward off yearning—both in our material lives and social lives.
Luminaries is the winner of the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Novelette/Chapbook Prize, selected by Kellie Wells.
40 pages | 1 halftone | 5 1/2 x 7
“A story all the more devastating for its moving luminosity, Luminaries is a darkly tender meditation on the difficulties of being and remaining connected to others, even after death, and the deep ambivalence a person can feel toward their own substance, their own materiality, in a world of loss. Agnes, who works at a camp for grieving children, learns how to tap her own burgeoning emptiness in an effort to connect the substantial with the insubstantial, the grieving with the absent. The story is lovely in its yearning insights, and builds, masterfully, with emotional precision, toward a stunning and resonant conclusion, beautifully evoking the eternal and aching thereness of the no-longer-there. I choose this story because it made me sleepless, as I thought about all the losses that have given my life shape, and the ones yet to come, and the acute sorrows I have never found the language to properly express.”
Kellie Wells, author of God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna