Kate Wisel and Elizabeth Ames in conversation
Two debut authors talk about their books, which have striking similarities, such as the unsettling turns and the necessity of female friendship.
About the Books
Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bars, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of a working-class Boston. Serena, Frankie, Raffa, and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Through the gritty, unraveling truths of their lives, they find themselves in the bed of an overdosed lover, through the panting tongue of a rescue dog who is equally as dislanguaged as his owner, in the studio apartment of a compulsive liar, sitting backward but going forward in the galley of an airplane, in relationships that are at once playgrounds and cages. Homeless Men is the collective story of women whose lives careen back into the past, to the places where pain lurks and haunts. With riotous energy and rage, they run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.
The Other's Gold follows four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake—the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite—this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.
About the Authors
Kate Wisel is a native of Boston. Her fiction has appeared in publications that include Gulf Coast, Tin House online, New Delta Review, The Best Small Fictions 2019, Redivider (as winner of the Beacon Street Prize), and elsewhere. She was a Carol Houck fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and awarded scholarships at Writing x Writers, the Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago.
Named for Iowa but born and raised in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Ames is a writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth has lived in Seattle, France, and Rwanda since leaving the Midwest. She currently lives in a Harvard dormitory with her husband, two children, and a few hundred undergraduates.