by David Nikki Crouse
University of Alaska Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-64642-398-9 | Paper: 978-1-64642-397-2 | Cloth: 978-1-64642-488-7
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.R685T76 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6

In these three deeply observed novellas, award-winning author David Nikki Crouse dramatizes the lives of women living in Interior Alaska. Each novella acts as an extended meditation on grief, loss, and the nature of imagination. Crouse’s usual storytelling gifts are on full display here, but the darkness found in past short story collections is balanced by images of stark beauty. In “Misfortune and Its Double,” a woman remembers—and manufactures—the story of an arduous cross-country drive that might not be entirely true. “A Rough Map of the Interior” follows a woman’s life from suicide attempt to hospitalization to a new kind of self-knowledge, and “Asmodeus Speaks” lingers on a Dungeon and Dragons roleplaying game in remote Fairbanks and its disruption when one of its players, a young Yupik man, goes missing.
While Crouse’s prize-winning collection of short fiction The Man Back There offered up insights into a kind of self-destructive masculinity, these novellas now sensitively and persuasively capture the inner landscapes of women struggling with grief and isolation. Trouble Will Save You is a unique and fully realized work from a keenly empathetic writer.
Praise for The Man Back There:
“In this virtuoso collection of stories, David Crouse guides us directly to where the shadow lies—the disorienting loss, the surprising heartache, the forgotten wound—those inevitable areas of the psyche we all share and through which only truth, illuminated with a such a light touch here, can deliver us; The Man Back There is the work of the real thing.”
—Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
“I chose these stories because they made me feel. I felt the characters like I would feel a stranger in a room or on a bus with me, with an irrational sympathy more animal than moral in its nature.”
—Mary Gaitskill, 2007 Mary McCarthy Prize judge

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