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What Shines from It: Stories by Sara Rauch

What Shines from It: Stories by Sara Rauch What Shines from It header banner

What Shines from It
Stories by Sara Rauch

What Shines from It cover artwork

Electric Book Award logo and link

“Complex, tender, and deeply human.”
—Eric Shonkwiler,
author of 8th Street Water & Light

The eleven stories in Sara Rauch’s What Shines from It are rife with the physical and psychic wounds of everyday life. In “Beholden,” girl meets boy meets the unsettled spirits of post-9/11 New York City, but her future can’t hold them all. In “Kitten,” a struggling veteran and his wife argue over adopting an abandoned kitten, deepening their financial and emotional rifts. In “Abandon,” a ghost-baby ravages a woman’s body following a late-term miscarriage, marring her chances for new love. And in “Kintsukuroi,” a married potter falls in love with a married geologist and discovers the luminosity of being broken.

What Shines from It is populated by women on the verge of transcendence—brimming with anger and love—and working-class artists haunted by the ghosts of their desires. Abiding by a distinctly guarded New England sensibility, these stories inhabit the borderlands of long-established cities, where humans are still learning to embrace the natural world. Subtly exploring sexualities, relationships, birth and rebirth, identity, ghosts, and longing, Rauch searches for the places where our protective shells are cracked and, in spare, poetic language, limns those edges of loneliness and loss with light.

Winner of the 2017 Electric Book Award

Content warnings: coming soon

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Praise for What Shines from It

What Shines from It is a classic story collection made contemporary. Familiar plots and settings become refreshed with new angles, and stories that appear placid reveal tremendous depth and nuance. The characters in these stories are complex, tender, and deeply human.”
—Eric Shonkwiler,
author of Above All Men, Moon Up, Past Full, and 8th Street Power & Light

“Sara Rauch sneaks up on you with these stories, which seem so perfectly quiet before leveling you with their emotional wallop. These are people we know, or wish we did, people we pull for, hope for, and Rauch’s rare mastery of subtlety, and an eye just slightly, but exquisitely, off-kilter, draws us into their lives as if they were our own. Way beyond promising, it’s these stories themselves that flat-out shine. Sara Rauch is the real deal.”
—Pete Fromm,
author of A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do

“The stories in Sara Rauch’s What Shines from It are lit from within: they glow with intelligence, pathos, and startling insights into the human tragicomedy. This is an extraordinary debut from a writer who has, I daresay, a long and distinguished career ahead of her.”
—Christine Sneed,
author of Little Known Facts and The Virginity of Famous Men

What Shines from It tells stories of couples coming together and falling apart—sometimes at once. You’ll find no Hollywood theatrics here, just keenly observed tales of characters and relationships that, like the gold-seamed vase in “Kintsukuroi,” show their cracks. With intelligence and grace, Sara Rauch illuminates the beauty in brokenness and the eternal union of love and loss.”
—Jennifer Wortman,
author of This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love.

“In Sara Rauch’s vivid, tender collection, she dissects the mundane to suss out the figments and phantoms her characters try, mightily, to escape, and doesn’t give them an inch. In quiet moments — when they’re on the brink, relationships teetering, strangers clutching one another, hungry in all ways — they’re held accountable and often left asking where they go from here. And yet, at the center of each of these stories is a bright yearning, a desire to be understood, the question of how to piece ourselves back together after tragedy or heartache or even amid the splendid ordinary. This is a remarkable collection that seeks to catalog the triumphs and agonies of everyday life — an elegantly crafted debut, both empathetic and stirring.”
—Robert James Russell,
author of Mesilla and Sea of Trees

“From the California coast to Midtown Manhattan, Sara Rauch’s stories situate us alongside an unforgettable cast of up-and-comers and down-and-outers. These punchy tales amplify quiet moments of grace in between tragedies. What Shines from It is a deeply moving and momentous debut.”
—Ryan Ridge,
author of New Bad News

About What Shines from It

• Fiction | Short Stories | Literary
• Published by Alternating Current Press
• 5” x 8” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Cream Paper, 190 Pages
• Print ISBN-13: 978-1-946580-11-5
• Print ISBN-10: 1946580112
• First Edition: March 3, 2020
Permalink | Short URL: tinyurl.com/whatshines
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What Shines from It

Images for public use for What Shines from It

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Click to view / download photo of author Sara Rauch by Lee Biase in [JPG].

Book Trailer for What Shines from It

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Reviews and media for What Shines from It


Listed in Entropy’s Quarantine Reading: Books You Shouldn’t Forget to Buy
Reviewed by Sheldon Lee Compton in Enclave
Reviewed in After the Pause
Reviewed by Beth Mowbray in The Nerd Daily

About Sara Rauch

SARA RAUCH’s fiction and essays have appeared in Paper Darts, Hobart, Split Lip, So to Speak, Qu, Lunch Ticket, and other literary magazines, as well as in the anthologies Dear John, I Love Jane; Best Lesbian Romance 2014; and She’s Lost Control. She has covered books for Bustle, BitchMedia, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary, The Rumpus, and more. In 2012, she founded the literary magazine Cactus Heart, which ran through 2016. She holds an MFA from Pacific University. Sara teaches writing at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop and Grub Street and also works as an independent editor and manuscript consultant. What Shines from It, which won the Electric Book Award, is Sara’s first book. She lives with her family in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Find her online at sararauch.com, on Twitter at @sararauch, and on Instagram at @sara__rauch.

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