“Here Until August tracks the shimmer of precarious moments and transient moods with devastating precision. In their steady excavation of intimacy, these spacious stories bring Alice Munro to mind. I underlined sentence after sentence as I read: for their beauty, their clarity, and their wisdom. Josephine Rowe is a breathtakingly good writer, and this is a marvelous book.” —Michelle de Kretser
The stories in Here Until August follow the fates of characters who, by choice or by force, are traveling beyond the boundaries of their known worlds. These are people who move with the seasons. We meet them negotiating reluctant or cowardly departures, navigating uncertain returns, or biding the disquieting calm that so often precedes moments of decisive action.
In one story, an agoraphobic French émigré compulsively watches disturbing footage from the other side of the world as she attempts to keep a dog named Chavez out of trouble. In another, a young couple weather the interiority of a Montreal winter, more attuned to the illicit goings-on of their neighbors than to their own hazy, unfolding futures. Other stories play out against the fictional counterparts of iconic Australian and American locales, places that are recognizable but set just beyond the brink of familiarity: flooded townships and distant islands, sunlit woodlands or paths made bright by ice, places of unpredictable access and spaces scrubbed from maps.
From the Catskills to New South Wales, from the remote and abandoned island outports of Newfoundland to the sprawl of a North American metropolis, these transformative stories show how the places where we choose to live our lives can just as easily turn us inward as outward.