In my farthest reaches, I go where I have no weight, where weight means nothing–underwater, or on the moon, and I am not alone but touching fingers with a ring of bundled astronauts, and we are collecting things in sterile containers to bring to solid ground. If we can understand this barrenness, we can understand anything. If we can live through this weightlessness, we will never be weighed down again. Or I am alone, so far from the earth that I can see it spin, so far from my body that one hand meets the other like a total stranger, and I greet myself with a new and giddy pleasure, shaking hands.” –from “Around the World”
Imagination—the mind’s ability to travel beyond itself inside itself—is central to Graver’s fiction. Stories in the collection appeared in Best American Short Stories (1991), Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards (1991), and numerous other anthologies and journals.
“These are subtle, illuminating and exquisitely pretty stories. They have wisdom at their hearts—which is always a shock, and especially so when it is wisdom composed by a writer so young. Ms. Graver seems to be in full control of remarkable talent.”–Richard Ford
“Graver writes wisely of damage contained by intelligence, of emotions named and mastered by consciousness . . . . Hers is a voice one wants to hear from again, and very soon.” –The Boston Review
“It is as if Elizabeth Graver were in possession of a magnifying lens that allows her precise access to the nuances of the human soul.” —Belles Lettres
“A quietly delightful debut . . . The intelligent contention of Graver’s warm-hearted stories is that, however invisible to the eye of the world, we all come up against problematic momens that tilt life on its axix.” —The London Times
“In these 10 thoughtful short stories, awarded the 1991 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, empower them. Graver depicts seemingly minor events that trigger subtle emotional tending her baby sister, a pregnant 30-year-old intrigued by her neighbor’s autistic female cousin on a camping trip, a young woman in a back brace who longs to feel authenticity.” Publishers Weekly, July 5, 1991