This Side of Water: Stories is the winner of the 2019 American Fiction Award in the short story category
Silver Medalist in the 2020 IPPY Awards
Eric Hoffer Short Story Category Finalist
International Book Award Short Story Category Finalist
In a brutal collection of dark stories...the author performs one vivisection after another, toppling the reader expectations and formulaic rhythms in stories of very ordinary people and the vicious blades that cut into everyday lives. Themes and settings persist, such as a Long Island community, Catholic upbringing, the shore club, couples at various stages in their relationships, and adults still grappling under the weight of their parents’ influence. Some characters come of age, while others are aging. But the settings and setups matter less than the staggering reveals. The anticipation in each story is crushing, but the revelations are worse.
--US REVIEW OF BOOKS
These are brave stories. Pilkington seems willing to go anywhere she needs to for a story, and fully inhabit any character. The Side of Water is a wide-ranging and darkly beautiful collection of stories.
- Peter Orner
Author of Esther Stories and the forthcoming Maggie Brown & Others
Brutally eloquent. A mesmerizing collection with a heat seeking eye for brilliant humor and intense passionate loves.
- Ernesto Quinonez
Author of the bestselling novel, Bodega Dreams
Filled with humor, honesty, wonderfully perceptive details these suspenseful stories, told in an original voice, delight and illuminate.
- Sheila Kohler
Author most recently of Once We Were Sisters
Maureen Pilkington's This Side of Water reminds you that the brief glimpse offered by the short story form can stop and startlingly recharge your heart. In all of these stories the dialogue throws sparks as it reveals the ways that vulnerable people talk. The veil lifts here on compulsions resulting from the uncontainable desires. Like the sensuous energies of water, these stories alter your body's responsiveness to the world, inviting you to experience new aliveness.
- Kevin McIlvoy
Novelist and short story writer, is author of At the Gate of All Wonder and 57 Octaves Below Middle C.