Excellent reading for those who value meditative, beautiful storytelling. —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review)
Ramspeck's debut collection abounds with flawed families, tense confirmations, and unlikely moments of grace...These precise and resonant stories chronicle humble lives and unspoken traumas, making for a subtle and moving reading experience. —Kirkus Reviews
One is tempted, in describing Douglas Ramspeck’s new collection, to use the word ‘unflinching’—and indeed, these fictions tackle crises that might tempt many to avert their gaze: dead, missing, or decamped fathers, tragic accidents, romantic disappointment, childhood trauma, awkward aftermaths of all kinds. The problem is that ‘unflinching’ gives the viewer, or the writer, special credit for not looking away. But flinching is for those who have a choice, and the characters in these spare, close-to-the-bone stories do not. What Ramspeck succeeds in here is to show us, in poignant, lyrical, but never fussy prose, what everyday fortitude looks like, what it’s like to look hardship straight in its eye and keep pressing on. These are flawed, sympathetic, fully human characters, and this is a sad, dark, terrific book.
—Michael Griffith, Trophy and Bibliophilia
Kansas City Literary Events