Defensible Spaces (Paperback)
Linked short stories set in the modern West probe the human desire for independence and profound connection amid a world increasingly on fire. The residents of Clayton, Colorado, must learn to live with what has burned and what threatens to ignite. In Defensible Spaces, a bus driver confronts a rush of memories when an old flame climbs aboard; a trailer park resident attempts to save her home; a reclusive fire mitigation worker fuels public outrage. Throughout ten linked short stories, townspeople work through relationships with alcoholism, history, and each other, negotiating where and when to create their own defensible spaces that might, but will not always, keep them protected. For fans of literary linked story collections such as Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge or Fidelity by Wendell Berry, Defensible Spaces is a nuanced and generous debut collection with the former mining town of Clayton, Colorado, at its heart.
Alison Turner grew up in the mountains of Colorado, where she learned to endure large amounts of time in inclement weather waiting for buses. She is the co-host and co-creator of the When you are homeless podcast miniseries, and her creative work appears in Blue Mesa Review, Wordrunner eChapbooks, Little Patuxent Review, Meridian, and Bacopa Literary Review, among others. Turner facilitates writing groups and consults with writers who are experiencing homelessness. She lives in Denver, Colorado.