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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.


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.



These debut novels from Westchester authors are perfect for quarantine: ⁦‪ ⁦‪

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