Saturday, December 17th: Fiction. University of Montana MFA alum, Dana Fitz Gale, will be reading from her debut collection, Spells for Victory and Courage, winner of the 2016 Brighthorse Prize for short fiction. 1pm.
The characters in Spells for Victory and Courage, winner of the Brighthorse Prize in short fiction, search for love and belonging in all the broken places. A teen-age girl takes care of her ex-jockey father. A retired professor befriends the local shepherd. A carnival clown picks a fight with the wrong customer. And a door-to-door saleswoman peddles dreams of grandeur in the shadow of a defunct lumber mill. Although their circumstances differ, these characters all share one thing: their quest for connection in a lonely and fragmented world. Spells for Victory and Courage is funny, smart, rich, and strange; and Dana Fitz Gale is a writer who grabs you by the scruff of the neck and won't let go.
"Dana Fitz Gale's voice is buoyantly distinctive but her range of themes and forms is so impressive– soulful, clever, edgy, heartfelt, ironic– that this debut collection constitutes an almost magical contradiction: it's deeply archetypal and profoundly original. Every story depicts those human moments that crystallize our perennial longing to love and live with others while staying true to our inexplicably quirky selves. Spells for Victory and Courage shifts masterfully between the traditional and the experimental, and it's one of the finest collections of stories I've read in years." Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education
"Burrow down in your seat for a great read. Dana Fitz Gale is a masterful storyteller. With poetic prose that doesn't dally and a hunter's eye for the subtle human acts that change lives, Spells for Victory and Courage is gritty, and more than a little thrilling. Fitz Gale's stories are compassionate and tough. A collection reminiscent of Annie Proulx's best stories." Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red
Dana Fitz Gale has won the Arts & Letters Prize, the Writers at Work fellowship, the Charles Johnson Award, and the New Letters Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, New Letters, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, Arts & Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Tampa Review, New South, and Hudson Review, among other places, and have received several Pushcart nominations. Spells for Victory and Courage is her first book, and was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award and the Ohio State book prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and lives in the Bitterroot Valley with her husband, two sons, and assorted dogs, cats, and horses.