Sarabande Books, August 2012
Recipient, 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction
A Poets & Writers Notable First Book
A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
A Fiction Writers Review Book of the Week
Winner of the ForeWord Firsts Summer 2012 Competition
Finalist, Colorado Book Awards
"The complex interweaving of themes, rendered through precise detail, is akin to a powerful subterranean disturbance that sends seismographs jumping but leaves few visible effects."
-- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"Binder has gone so deeply,
and with such mystical brilliance and loyalty, into her own world that she has brought mine to me in high relief. She both casts a spell and breaks it. To experience Rise is to experience wonder."
-- Laura Kasischke
"In one of these amazing stories a character says to her husband, 'Why are you smiling? You're scaring me.' That's how I feel about Rise.There is a yearning so deep in each story, something beautiful and urgent, that the book glows. L. Annette Binder arrives with worlds of empathy and strange surprise."
-- Ron Carlson
"Three years ago I read a story titled "Dead Languages." I came out of my chair. I've been in standing ovation position reading every subsequent story written by L. Annette Binder. They came exquisitely one by one, and now you are damn lucky to have them all in one wondrous volume. Rise."
-- Michelle Latiolais
"L. Annette Binder is a stunningly talented writer. Her stories are the stories of outsiders, gripping and heartfelt, heightened with hidden undertones of the surreal. It is this tension that makes the worlds she creates so vibrant, and allows her readers to see so deeply into these characters' souls. Rise is a beautiful book, and Binder’s words cut clear and straight to the bone."
-- Hannah Tinti
For a reader's guide, go here.
"Whether the situations in Binder's debut story collection (winner of the 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction) are distortions of the plausible ... or are rooted firmly in the everyday ... the characters are enmeshed in a mingling of the spirtiual and the nightmarish... The complex interweaving of themes, rendered through precise detail, is akin to a powerful subterranean disturbance that sends seismographs jumping but leaves few visible effects."
-- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly (a Publishers Weekly best pick of the week)
"Binder's sharp debut story collection features diverse characters transfixed within the limitations and tension of their environments... Although many of Binder's 14 tales incorporate a somewhat mystical tone... her characters' yearnings and emotions are grounded in life's everyday, restless manifestations."
Leah Strauss, Booklist.com
"What makes Binder's collection exceptionally compelling is that even the stories without surreal contours seem to be set in a world that is not quite our own. Reading Binder's writing gives the effect of seeing everything through the wavy bands of heat that radiate off the pavement on the hottest summer days. The world as Binder describes it has a shimmering, warped quality to it that lends a sense of quiet danger to even the most seemingly innocuous circumstances. It is this feeling of imminent horror, more than some characters' supernatural gifts (or disabilities), that truly brings to mind some of the most disturbing tales by the Brothers Grimm... Rise is a knowing exploration of what we do when the unthinkable happens; no matter what form it takes... Binder's characters must ultimately suffer alone, but no matter how isolated they might feel, they never completely lose their ability to find grace in the compassion of others."
Sarah Bridgins, The New York Daily News
"Rise is a wondrous debut collection of her stories, and one of which could be an example of the form at its best... These stories ... are like ripe grapes: small in size, but oh so succulent and sweet."
--Peter Dabbene, ForeWord Magazine (winner of the ForeWord Firsts Summer 2012 Competition)
"In a 1904 letter to Oskar Pollack, Franz Kafka wrote that 'A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.' L. Annette Binder seems to have taken this to heart. The fourteen stories in her debut collection, Rise (Sarabande Books), bring to mind the title of a Tom Waits album: Glitter and Doom. Rise contains a king’s ransom of both... Obsessives mask their brokenness and fear behind compulsive plastic surgery, a magic stone, and survivalist gear. Behold the damaged and the damned. These stories chop away at the frozen sea, with often painful results."
-- Lee Thomas, Fiction Writers Review
"To read Rise is to visit a place a place where the dead go to be transformed intostories, and where, looking into the many faces of grief, we all become children."
--Jill Kronstadt, Bloom
"Trauma has a tsunami pull on the psyche and, when not able to sequester it within the boundary of the everyday normal, Binder shows how the ones affected struggle to right themselves... Some of the characters don’t make it out, as in real life. Some will struggle in a long night all their life, as in real life. Some are saved by rising to the best of what it means to be a human being."
-- Trena Machado, newpages
"[T]he collection Rise is amazingly good... These are not happy people but rather folks with issues leading to frustration, melancholia and despair. Their stories are told with an artistic flair that makes reading these stories like floating."
-- Gary Niebuhr, Book Group Buzz, a booklist blog
"These stories evoke wonder, yes, as well as a sympathy that is epic in both its reach and its depth."
-- Anika Gupta, The Iowa Review
"Vladimir Nabokov said, 'A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.' L. Annette Binder exemplifies these qualities in her debut collection of short stories, Rise, which is rooted in reality, yet winged and lyrical. Rise shines by pushing against the boundaries of plausibility and enmeshing the grotesque with the natural world."
Meredith Newell, The Fiddlehead
"The quest to understand happenstance lurks beneath many of these stories... What is discovered, however, may not comfort the questing characters, but it is that seeking explanations in a sometimes cruel, capricous world full of haunted memories, recriminations, and weird developments that makes Rise one of the most compelling debut story collections that I have read in recent years."
-- Larry Nolen, The OF Blog
"Binder has the ability to peer deep inside her character's thoughts and shine a light on basic human needs and wants... Read Rise and you will know you are reading the work of a writer who thinks deeply about her characters and who knows how to chisel read people out of words."
-- Mark Stevens, Telluride Inside ... and Out
"Binder ... fills Rise with fantastical details: a giant woman who is half-angel and still growing in her 50s, a boy who sees shadow-like halos over the heads of people who will die soon, a child who only speaks dead languages. At the same time, her stories are about everyday realities, such as people dealing with illnesses or struggling to get along. Rise is a book about transcending life's emotional and psychological turbulence."
-- Deb Baker, The Concord Monitor
Interviews and Essays
Q&A with L. Annette Binder, Interview with Mark Stevens, Telluride Inside ... and Out, August 7, 2013
Interview with Amanda Faraone, BOMBLOG, May 22, 2013
"Introducing 2013 Debutante: L. Annette Binder," Interview with Amanda Faraone, OneStory, April 17, 2013
"The Wolf Will See You Now: L. Annette Binder's Rise," by Jill Kronstadt, Bloom, Mar.24, 2013
Interview with L. Annette Binder, Cultural Anthropology: Journal for the Society of Cultural Anthropology, July 2, 2012
"Stumblefoot," Five Chapters (forthcoming)
"Ithaca," Phoebe (Summer 2012)
"Sidewinder," Indiana Review (Summer 2012)
"Lay My Head," Fairy Tale Review (December 2011), forthcoming in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2013
"Black Eye," West Branch Wired (September 2011)
"Tremble," Quarterly West (September 2011)
"Paradiso," Water~Stone Review (Vol. 14, 2011)
"Rise," Crab Orchard Review (Fall/Winter 2011) (not the same as the Swink story)
"Sea of Tranquility," American Short Fiction (Summer 2011), Second Place in the 2011 American Short Fiction Contest (judged by Wells Tower, who called the story's premise "wondrously imagined" and "broadening a humane and humble portrait of a new family into something cosmos-size").
"Galatea," Third Coast (Spring 2011)
"The Last He Knew," Weber: The Contemporary West (Spring/Summer 2011) (entire issue available here)
"Nephilim," One Story 141 (October 15, 2010) (reprinted in The Pushcart Prize XXXVI: Best of the Small Presses (2012))
"Weights and Measures," Avery Anthology 6 (August 2010)
"Wrecking Ball," Bellingham Review (Vol. 62, 2010) (full text available here)
"Halo," Green Mountains Review (Vol. 22: 2, 2009)
"Stealing Time," Oxford Magazine (Summer 2009)
"Nod," Beloit Fiction Journal (Vol. 22, Spring 2009)
"Dead Languages," The Southern Review (Vol. 45:1, Winter 2009)
"Castle Rock," The Fiddlehead (No. 238, Winter 2009)
"Hive," The South Dakota Review (Vol. 46:4, Winter 2008)
"Shelter," Short Story (Fall 2008)
"Ghost Girl," Storyglossia (Issue 30, October 2008), a storySouth Notable Story of 2008
"What We Leave Behind," Rosebud Magazine (Vol. 42, Fall 2008)
"Walking the Reservoir at Night," Clapboard House (Winter 2008)
Awards and Honors
Finalist for Literary Fiction, Colorado Book Awards
Recipient, ForeWord Firsts Summer 2012 Prize (for outstanding fiction debut)
Recipient, 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (judged by Laura Kasischke)
Recipient, 2011 Dr. Neila C. Seshachari Fiction Award (for "The Last He Knew," which appeared in Weber: The Contemporary West)
Pushcart Prize, Pushcart Prize XXXVI: Best of the Small Presses (2012) (for "Nephilim")
Second Place, 2011 American Short Fiction Contest (judged by Wells Tower)
Finalist, 2010 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
Finalist, 2010 Iowa Review Award
Semi-Finalist, 2010 Katherine Anne Porter Prize
Honorable Mention, 2009 Robert and Adele Prize for Fiction (judged by Brock Clarke)
Finalist, 2009 Tobias Wolff Award
Wigleaf Long List, 2009
Second Place, 2008 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest (judged by Cristina Henríquez)
Honorable Mention, 2008 Red Hen Press Short Fiction Contest (judged by Ron Carlson)
StorySouth Notable Story, 2008
Finalist, 2008 Rick DeMarinis Short Fiction Contest