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Six Months In The Midwest

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Six Months in the Midwest

In the dark heart of a Minneapolis winter, a young boy struggles to understand his mother’s failing health as she teaches him Polish, the language of her dead mother. From a distance, a frustrated English professor dines with her mentally ill ex-husband in a park on which a mansion once stood. A single mother struggles to let go as her teenage son seeks his independence. A drag queen and his partner battle a snow storm while debating the future of their relationship. A retired garbage collector finds solace in the ballet, and the owner of a liquor store tries to find companionship on the streets and in the bars of Minneapolis. Equal parts bitterness and beauty, the sixteen stories in this collection are plotted snapshots of a city in its most unforgiving season.

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“In this ambitious debut collection, Darci Schummer inhabits the secret houses of the lost and lonely in the often-overlooked Midwest.  Truthful, wise, gifted with empathy and imagination in equal measures—this is a writer to read.”

— Sheila O’Connor, author of Keeping Safe the Stars and Sparrow Road 

“Darci Schummer’s “Six Months in the Midwest” is a potently observed portrait of Minneapolis, an ode to its peculiarities and its characters. Many people call the Midwest “flyover country” but the clarity and humanity in Schummer’s sixteen stories will make them want to land.”

— John Jodzio
Author of If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home and Get In If You Want To Live

“Darci Schummer’s debut collection of short stories opens with a calm and provocative preface—and then we are taken into some defining moments in the lives of many characters brought to life by this fine writer.  These defining moments are both small and large, and many speak to the sad and compelling distances between people.  Here are characters demanding something that another cannot give, or lies told to protect another that have the opposite effect. The opening story is a beauty, about real loss, and the legacy of love and language. It reminds us of how any of us might call out in the dark for one we love. Schummer’s gift is her deeply felt yet fiercely unsentimental portraits of human beings who struggle to understand their choices and their fates.”

— Deborah Keenan
Author, most recently, of From Tiger to Prayer, and so she had the world, and ten other collections.