Vanishing Acts

Wild Things

Shark Girls

Dream Lives of Butterflies

Climbing the God Tree

Sex, Salvation and the Automobile



  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: BkMk Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1943491054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1943491056

Publisher Link
Fiction. This collection of "linked, rural-noir" stories depicts endangered humans in endangered environment. Jaimee Wriston Colbert has given us a story collection for our times. In WILD THINGS, Colbert's human characters face displacement, just like the tropical alligator who appears in New York's Susquehanna River. They face sheer desperation, like that of an ohia tree clinging to solid lava on a Hawaiian volcano. In an environment where good-paying factory jobs are an endangered species, Colbert's protagonists confront such post- industrial predations as meth, homelessness, and the ghosts of lost dreams. Their survival is their triumph.

Publicist promo for Wild Things and Q and A interview...

Available from:
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Brace yourself for Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s Wild Things. These linked rural noir stories unfold their wings near the Susquehanna River in a landscape graced by wildlife and haunted by lost prosperity, “business after business failing, padlocking their doors, factories with their boarded up windows, just another has-been town slowly shutting down.” Those left behind must navigate the meth labs and broken families and their own oversized yearning. “Abstinence may lead you to god,” says one of Colbert’s women, “but it’s hunger that’ll get you fed.” These characters sing their hunger and dance their hard-won wisdom. These brilliant, surprising stories defy gravity and take flight.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Once Upon A River, and National Book
Award finalist for American Salvage

Jaimee Wriston Colbert is a storyteller of the first order, and Wild Things is immensely rewarding. A must read for short story lovers, the voice not only captivatingly original, but downright addictive. I did not want the collection to end, and for days afterward I could still hear that pitch-perfect blend of lyric and narrative whispering in my ear. Without question this is her finest book so far!

Jack Driscoll, The World of A Few Minutes Ago

A tremendous new collection from a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and an empathetic understanding of the thorny, heartbreaking human condition. There’s so much reverence for the world in Wild Things, so much intelligence and beauty on every page. A stunning book.

Christine Sneed, Little Known Facts and The Virginity of Famous Men

Jaimee Wriston Colbert has written a book of deeply affecting elegies to the scattered remnants of wilderness, the some few wild things we still live among: blackbird, brown trout, reef shark, teenage girl. By turns luminous and razor-sharp, in landscapes as diverse as a shimmering beach in Oahu and a crumbling mill town in upstate New York, these characters find comfort, not only in the “peace of wild things” but also in their scrap and bite, their tenacious urge toward survival in an absurdly hostile world.

Pam Houston, Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness
Colbert, Jaimee Wriston (author).  
Oct. 2016. 200p. BkMk, paperback, $15.95(9781943491056). 
REVIEW.  First published October 15, 2016 (Booklist).

Colbert (Shark Girls, 2009) hones her clarion vision of the interconnectedness and vulnerability of life in this edgy, knowing, situationally complex, and emotionally intricate short story collection. Set in the decimated watershed of the Susquehanna River, and inspiring comparisons to Joyce Carol Oates and Bonnie Jo Campbell, these loosely linked and distinctly disquieting tales portray families shattered by closed factories, lost and dead-end jobs, foreclosed houses, meth addiction, failures to love, and despair. In passages of startling beauty and tenderness, Colbert draws striking correlations between the destruction of nature and human suffering. In “Erosion,” a woman in a faltering marriage, unable to get pregnant and in need of a job, thinks, “I’m the coral reefs dying, the hole in the ozone, pollution, drought, the planet’s bad news.” A nature-loving yet unloved boy becomes a confused man who holds a 15-year-old girl captive to protect her. Other characters are haunted by lost siblings and burdened by thoughts of extinction. Colbert’s divining sense of brokenness and our longing for wholeness make for extraordinarily incisive, stirring, funny, and haunting all-American stories. 

—Donna Seaman – Booklist, Review of Wild Things



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