Collective Gravities by Chloe N. Clark
Publication Date: 7 July 2020
Publisher: word west
Genre: Short Fiction
In Collective Gravities, something magical is always just beneath the surface — the zombie apocalypse happens, but the world stays relatively the same; a woman begins to feel the earth moving beneath her feet. In this fantastical, genre-bending collection, Chloe N. Clark launches readers from Iowa, to outer space, and back again. Lyrical, funny, and full of transcendent beauty, Collective Gravities is a cause for celebration: an astronomically gifted writer, who, in twenty-six stories, shows us an entire world (and beyond) full of heartbreak, hope, redemption, and wonder.
I can say with quite a bit of confidence that Chloe N. Clark is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I’ve been following her on social media for a while, which first introduced me to her poems, stories, and essays. Then, I had the chance to review Your Strange Fortune a while back. So, unsurprisingly, I was thrilled to have the chance to read Collective Gravities and explore a whole new world—quite literally.
This is one of a few short story collections I’ve read over the past couple of years and it’s truly one of the best within that list. The book has so much to offer, including one piece that’s stuck with me, in particular.
“The Collective Gravity of Stars” begins with an incredible opening sentence: “It was an ordinary spring day when Callie died.” Of course, that line leads into an equally remarkable opening paragraph, and a story that’s nothing short of transformative.
Callie was twelve when she told her parents about the movements of the earth, though it had begun much earlier in life. Sometimes, when she thought hard enough, she could remember being in her crib and feeling the earth rocking her, gently as a lullaby. As a child, it was almost fun, the whirl, the rush.—“The Collective Gravity of Stars” from Collective Gravities by Chloe N. Clark
Admittedly, this isn’t the only story that’s stayed in the back of my mind since I first picked up Collective Gravities. But I won’t spoil the magic of this collection any further. I can simply urge you to get your hands on a copy and experience it for yourself.
About the Author
Chloe N. Clark has never met an Oreo she wouldn’t try. She writes poetry and fiction, and some essays about food, mostly, but also does critical scholarship in the history of horror, gender and science fiction, monstrosity and othering, and inclusive practices in pedagogy. She is the founding co-editor-in-chief of online literary journal, Cotton Xenomorph.