Jaws of Life: Stories

 

Laura Leigh Morris

March 2018
168pp 
PB 978-1-946684-15-8
$18.99
ePub 978-1-946684-16-5
$18.99
PDF 978-1-946684-17-2
$18.99

 

Summary

In the hills of north central West Virginia, there lives a cast of characters who face all manner of problems. From the people who are incarcerated in West Virginia’s prisons, to a woman who is learning how to lose her sight with grace, to another who sorely regrets selling her land to a fracking company, Jaws of Life portrays the diverse concerns the people of this region face every day—poverty, mental illness, drug abuse, the loss of coal mines, and the rise of new extractive industries that exert their own toll.

While these larger concerns exist on the edges of their realities, these characters must still deal with quotidian difficulties: how to coexist with ex-spouses, how to care for sick family members, and how to live with friends who always seem to have more.

Contents

Frackers
Brickton Boys
A Room with a Door
Winners
House of Tires
Fat Bottomed Girls
The Dance
The Tattoo
Grief
The Dollar General
Controlled Fall
Popular
Jaws of Life
Muddin’
May Ours Be as Happy as Yours
Photographing the Dead

 

Author

Laura Leigh Morris is an assistant professor at Furman University. She has previously published short fiction in the Louisville Review, Weave Magazine, Conclave: A Journal of Character, and other journals. She spent three years as the National Endowment for the Arts/Bureau of Prisons Artist-in-Residence at Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. She is from north central West Virginia. This is her first book.

Reviews

“Laura Leigh Morris proves to us that stories are, indeed, everywhere. She tells them with the sharp eye and wit of a master storyteller. Superb.”
Larry Heinemann, winner of the National Book Award for Paco’s Story

“A very fine work with plenty of surprises, clever setups, satisfying payoffs, and vivid characters and mise en scene.”
Robert Gipe, author of Trampoline: An Illustrated Novel

Jaws of Life surges beyond Appalachian literature, or regional literature, straight into the heart of what matters on the universal level.”
George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie

“‘Look for something no one else sees,’ says one character in this fine debut, in which the people of Brickton lose many things—loved ones, their tempers, a good night’s sleep, five years of freedom—but never their power.”
Joni Tevis, author of The World Is On Fire