NC Literary Hall of Fame



What Shadows Eat & Other Stories by Kathleen Tyler

Yellow Flag Press
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 9781716862892
October, 2020
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

"Here, in these complex stories, geography is psychology and the beauty of the natural world explodes within the anatomy of human suffering. Tyler paints a world where everything hurts, even love and triumph. Her stories portray the subtle anguish of being human, the violence of joy, the loss entailed on the path of love. In fine Realist style, these characters mean more to us than they could ever mean to themselves, in smart, snapping dialogue where they find themselves discovering and searching, struggling in landscapes both inner and outer, in search of who they are, what they love. The imagery here is penetrating, gorgeous, ironic, moodfull. What Shadows Eat and Other Stories is a fine, thoughtful book."
—Chuck Rosenthal, author of The Legend of La Diosa

"These are well fed shadows.

"Juxtaposed to the darknesses in these stories is the brilliance of the writing. Tyler’s craft is a thing of light, redemptive and articulate. It is careful, precise, elegant: 'Shadows cut shapes on the floor between the furniture. The shadows lived, creatures of a world that always shifted, that he walked through but could never enter.' It is a pleasure to read these exquisitely structured stories. There are no shadows in this gorgeous writing."
—Phoebe MacAdams, author of The Large Economy of the Beautiful and Touching Stone

"Caution, sit calmly, take note of who you are before you open this book. Kathleen Tyler’s writing is immediate. These stories demand your vital organs. Luscious, intense imagery flexes: the healing of a woman’s scars through rescuing her seven-year-old niece; a sax player crawling through a seductive, elongated stumble that you beg him to recover from.

"Evaline’s battles—fending off life’s tragedies against the backdrop of perhaps the redeemer—a California firestorm raining down.

"A young boy manages his world as he collides with the adult world. In Tyler’s second to last story, it’s as much a stage play; family complexities brilliantly unfold.

"The final story is freighted by a man as husband, father, widower and the eternal boy. He desires a fallen goddess. And I fall prey to Tyler’s words."
—Richard A Heller, author of From the Circle

Kathleen Tyler’s newest collection illuminates the long shadows cast by childhood. Whether it is children seeking pockets of light in their present or adults trying to catch glimpses of their past, these six stories brighten the corners with beauty and humanity.

Kathleen Tyler is the author of three collections of poetry: Open the Window and Drown, My Florida, and The Secret Box. She earned a B.A. from the University of California - Los Angles and an M.A from Loyola Marymount University, both in English Literature. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous journals. A fifth-generation Floridian, Tyler now calls North Carolina home.

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