Lost Person Behavior
A magnetic debut collection of stories about the daily lives of girls and women in rural America.
In Lost Person Behavior, the natural world is an escape hatch, a refuge, a site of work, and an occasional antagonist. In “The Handler,” a woman leaves her boyfriend for the New Hampshire woods and fifty-seven sled dogs. In “Call Up the Waters,” a devastating drought leads a mother of two deep into the Colorado Rockies in search of water. A distress call from a boat in Massachusetts Bay compels a mother to plumb her daughter’s secrets in “Sea Women.” And in “Bending the Map,” a woman turns the tables on her obsessive, would-be lover after a powerful storm ravages her canyon home.
The characters in these nine stories—search-and-rescue workers, dog trainers, naturalists, archaeologists, and dowsers—are as intent on mapping the self as they are mapping the world around them. But in the words of survival experts, they “bend the map,” misreading the world when it does not match their expectations. They get lost. They meander. In their searching, familiar landscapes suddenly feel strange; unfamiliar spaces offer something like hope. Off the map and off the grid, these characters, and their regrets and devotions, are nevertheless immediately, intimately recognizable.
Sharply observant but steadily empathetic, textured with elegance and grit, Lost Person Behavior marks the arrival of a remarkable new talent.
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Praise and Prizes
“Lost Person Behavior is a stunning collection by an extraordinary talent. With great precision, Amber Caron manages to locate the most fragile and painful parts of her characters’ relationships while also pulling in a vivid sense of the external world and all that is beyond the open window or door. These stories are suspenseful, moving, and beautifully written.”
“Amber Caron’s debut signals the arrival of a bright talent to literary short fiction. Her prose sings, and shapes satisfying stories that reveal deeply human truths about labor, gender, and our ineffable connection to the natural world.”
“Amber Caron creates a sobering and nuanced sense of emotional wilderness—a world in which no place is ever entirely sure or safe. This book is cool, assured, unsettling, and gorgeous.”