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An Electric Literature Best Short Story Collection of 2016
"Almost a novel in stories, thematically linked like Phil Klay's Redeployment, but more particular in its examination of the new American veteran." —New York Times Book Review
Lacerating and lyrical, We Come to Our Senses centers on men and women affected by combat directly and tangentially, and the peculiar legacies of war. The story “Evie M.” is about a vet turned office clerk whose petty neuroses derail even her suicide; in “We Come to Our Senses,” a hip young couple leaves the city for the sticks, trading film festivals for firearms; in “Colleen” a woman redeploys to her Mississippi hometown, and confronts the superior who abused her at war; and in “11/19/98” a couple obsesses over sitcoms and retail catalogs, extracting joy and deeper meaning. The story “Hers” is about the sexual politics of a combat zone.
About the Author
Odie Lindsey is the author of We Come to Our Senses: Stories. He received an NEA Fellowship for combat veterans and is writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
[We Come to Our Senses is] far more than just a book about war…What sparks and makes every page come alive is the depth and sincerity of feeling in [Lindsey’s] prose.
— Los Angeles Review of Books
Lindsey writes with quiet confidence and sometimes arch humor that invites comparison to Ben Fountain and Phil Klay but that wouldn’t displease Flannery O’Connor. Superb atmospherics coupled with arresting story lines. — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Lindsey’s debut artfully portrays the American South…Lindsey’s lyrical, frenetic prose calls to mind Barry Hannah; and, like Hannah, he imparts a grim and pitying hope to his characters. — Booklist (starred review)
I read Odie Lindsey’s We Come to Our Senses in a way that books rarely compel me to…Not only compulsively readable, the thoughts these war stories stirred were rich and complex and heartening in their universal humanity. This is a remarkable collection by a splendid new writer.
— Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Brutal, precise, like a bullet to the heart, Lindsey’s prose is exactly right for conveying what war does to the human soul. Whether comic or tragic, the characters in these stories feel so vibratingly alive they seem to be whispering directly into your ear. — Helen Benedict, author of Sand Queen and The Lonely Soldier
The writing here is nuanced, correct, and felt enough that, for once, ‘Support Our Troops’ is not political pablum. One might say that in Odie Lindsey’s care, ‘Support Our Troops’ is a literary imperative. — Padgett Powell, author of Cries for Help, Various
The debut we hope for: heart-quickening, kinetic, relentless in its engagement with our time. — Paul Yoon, author of Snow Hunters
With a searing insightfulness and a dark humor all his own, Odie Lindsey holds up a powerful lens to an experience of modern American warfare that has been largely ignored in fiction—that of female veterans. This is a collection about how the battles we wage with the external world are really only half the fight. — Bonnie Jo Campbell, National Book Award finalist and author of Once Upon a River
[A] gritty and ambitious debut collection…Odie Lindsey is an innovative and consummate prose stylist. — Mary Miller, author of Biloxi
Here’s an exciting, even thrilling new voice I’m delighted to read, to hear in my head. He’s got all the notes, he’s all in. Odie Lindsey’s a terrific writer—pitch-perfect, entirely under control at high speed—who doesn’t hold anything back. — Brad Watson, author of Miss Jane