Place Published: Braddock, PA
Publisher: Braddock Avenue Books
Date Published: March 2013
Get ready. These are not your mother's bedtime stories. In this mesmerizing debut collection, Aubrey Hirsch will lead you into the darkest recesses of human life, where hope and longing and love and loss look all too much like one another. Each of these sixteen stories may be filled with its own kind of despair, but they are not despairing as Hirsch enters with deep sympathy into the souls of lonely women (Cheater, Hydrogen Event in a Bubble Chamber, Made in Indonesia), broken men (Leaving Seoul, Advice for Dealing with the Loss of a Beloved Pet), young recruits (The Specialists), and dutiful daughters (Strategy #13: Journal, No System for Blindness). With a hard intelligence, Hirsch considers the toll of heartache (Why We Never Talk About Sugar, Certainty) and loss (The Borovsky Circus Goes to Littlefield, Paradise Hardware) and the simple cost of longing. Taut and tension filled, these stories will transport you into the heart of what it means to be human. But be careful. Hirsch's compassion arrives on a knife blade. And you just may find your own heart cut open.
In Why We Never Talk About Sugar, Aubrey Hirsch posits an uncertain world, offering us her characters at their most confused, frightened, obsessed. As protection against their troubles, these men and women cling often to science, and also to story and if these two ways of seeing cannot always save them, then still they might provide some comfort, some necessary and sustaining faith, the mechanisms of what greatest mysteries might await us all, when all else is stripped away. --Matt Bell, author of Cataclysm Baby
Aubrey Hirsch is a bright shining star of a writer and the stories in her flawless debut collection, Why We Never Talk About Sugar, are a little disturbing and a little strange and a little sweet but always a lot to hold on to. Hirsch shows us the charm of her imagination and how carefully she will break your heart. This is a book you will keep coming back to, the one you won t be able to stop talking about because it's that damn good. --Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti
Each story in Why We Never Talk About Sugar is a Petri dish, a distinct world in which a particle is discovered, a lake vanishes, but the narrative microscope never forgets that what really matters are the characters. This fiction is lyrical and wicked smart, reminiscent of Aimee Bender and Miranda July. So, here's my hypothesis: Aubrey Hirsch is a bright new voice in American fiction. --Cathy Day, author of The Circus in Winter
About the Author
Aubrey Hirsch is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Third Coast, Hobart, The Rumpus and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing in Pittsburgh, where she lives with her husband, writer Devan Goldstein, and their son.