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Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts, by Elizabeth Kirschner

“In her brilliant collection BECAUSE THE SKY IS A THOUSAND SOFT HURTS, Elizabeth Kirschner fearlessly blends poetry, prose, memoir, and master storytelling into an amalgam that lands like a gut-punch to the soul. I literally found myself taking a deep breath at the beginning and the end of each story, to both steel and re-orient myself. There is nothing easy about the magic Kirschner casts; rather, its complexity serves to illuminate the indomitability of the human spirit in those deep, dark places where it would seem no spirit could survive. This is a devastatingly beautiful book.”

—Laura Hurwitz, Author of Disappear Home

“BECAUSE THE SKY IS A THOUSAND SOFT HURTS is a master stroke. Brimming with a hallucinatory spirit, these are less stories and more poetic and metaphysical voyages. In this collection, Kirschner gives voice to the disturbed and hopeful in her characters’ psyches—penetrating the repressed, thrust into the sublime. In its earlier stories, Kirschner brilliantly reinvents the simile, with it granting every sentence a double-life; and the later sections prove not only beautiful in their prose, but with keen sense of narrative drive. A literary achievement, this collection rewards re-reading over and over again.”

—Jonathan Koven, author of Palm Lines and editor of Toho Journal

“This collection is a powerhouse of language; its sentences sing with heat and precision. Elizabeth Kirschner expertly crafts the unexpected. These stories leave the reader feeling haunted and moved. They are a mediation on loneliness and the unspoken. Kirschner’s voice is poetic, lyrical, and singular. A monumental exploration of beauty in unpredictable places. Kirschner exposes the vulnerable and damaged through the lens of hope and redemption. A stunning collection that will stay with me for a long time.”

—Erika Nichols-Frazer, Editor, An Anthology of Mental Health Recovery Stories

“Reading Elizabeth Kirschner’s BECAUSE THE SKY IS A THOUSANDS SOFT HURTS is like being enveloped in layers of jeweled robes—each layer intricate with emotional depth and magnificent prose. Kirschner’s characters brave their lives—family violence; childhood trauma,—in scenes so immediate and chilling, the reader is dared to both look deeply, then look away—in awe.”

—Sari Rosenblatt, author of Father Guards the Sheep

“We need more voices like Elizabeth Kirschner’s, whose words connote the reality of trauma, illness, neurodivergence, and beauty through the juxtaposition of her own associative metaphors, similes, and images. A published poet and memoirist, she also proves adept at fiction. These are not conventional stories but quantum fictions.”

—Kevin Richard Kaiser, editor-in-chief of Punt Volat and author of An Ethics Beyond: Posthumanist Animal Encounters and Variable Kindness in the Fiction of George Saunders

“Elizabeth Kirschner’s collection dances on a keen edge—not only between fiction and poetry, but hallucination and holiness. This is a collection full of dark corners and glorious twists. Reader, take it slowly. Savor it.”

—Adam Prince, author, The Ugly Wishes of Beautiful Men

“Kirschner’s prose is a crucible in which characters, causation, and language itself are broken down and recast. But it is ultimately our own hearts that emerge, pulverized and purified, from her fires.”

—Jonathan Freeman-Coppadge, Fiction Editor, Oyster River Pages

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