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Available from Red Hen Press

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Winner of the Red Hen Press Fiction Award

“Each story surprised me, over and over again, with the narratives of children and young people navigating the random dangers of their homes, the adults around them, and the absolute presence always of violence and death. But it was the sly humor, the vivid detail of forest and church and street and body, that made these stories stay with me. The voices are indelible, and the moments when the whole world turns and pivots were admirable in their magic.” —Susan Straight, award-winning author of a memoir, In the Country of Women, and eight novels, including Highwire Moon.

Full of warmth, terror, and underhanded humor, If I Were the Ocean, I’d Carry You Home, Pete Hsu’s debut story collection, captures the essence of surviving in a life set adrift. Children and young people navigate a world where the presence of violence and death rear themselves in everyday places: Vegas casinos, birthday parties, church services, and sunny days at the beach. Each story is a meditation on living in a world not made for us—the pervasive fear, the adaptations, the unexpected longings. A gripping and energetic debut, Hsu’s writing beats with the naked rhythms of an unsettled human heart.

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