Tina Egnoski

Excerpt from The Push of Gravity

I know love. A coil of hair, warm skin, hollow of curved bone. The love of a lover, fitting back to belly, thigh against thigh in the deep part of the night, sleepy, not yet asleep. Easy touch, the flat of his hand on my face. Mother love, rosebud mouth on my nipple, arch of his spine when lifted from the crib. My reflection in his unfocused eyes.

I know how the trestle of afternoon sunlight from the open curtain roams across the living room window, a wide column that slants off the sofa, the edge of the coffee table, narrows with dusk. The hands of the clock grow close, separate, move together again like magnets. They can’t be apart.

I know Nick is here, silent and moody, and our son, Riley, not three months, is gone.


In these four stories, Tina Egnoski's characters struggle with sibling rivalry, race, grief, and poverty while remaining decidedly rooted in the Southern landscape, particularly Florida, where the author grew up. The atmosphere tends to be sultry. The terrain is as varied as the breezy coast of the Gulf and the stifling heat of a fruit grove. Smell the stench of a brackish river; feel your pores tighten in the salty air.


"Egnoski's a fine storyteller and the four stories in this handsomely produced book provide strong support for the recent interest and increase in chapbook fiction. 'My Sister on Fire' is a quirky sibling fantasy (who hasn’t imagined her sister on fire?) told in an original and engaging voice. 'What I Saw on the Corner of Guava and Aurora' re-imagines and conflates the documented experiences of Zora Neale Huston in Florida in the 1950's and the 1970's. The title story brings together all of the author’s strengths: dynamic, smartly-paced prose; original voices; an authentic sensibility; emotional restraint coupled with emotional intensity; and a sense of immediacy. Egnoski understands the human condition and she understands how fiction can depict it. Anything worth preserving likely began as something. . . perishable." --Sima Rabinowitz, Newpages.com, May 2011

"Perishables – read 'em while they’re fresh! Okay, I believe it... Tina Egnoski knows the South like I know Detroit. This short story collection, the Black River Chapbook Competition winner, is filled with authentic Southern (think Floridian) voices, with each main character unselfconsciously sharing a slice of her life as she knows it to be, seemingly unaware of the poignancy and dignity with which she expresses it. Something tells me that unlike the migrant friends of the title story, Egnoski (along with her cast of un-belle-like Southern gals) is here to stay. I would happily read her next fresh offering." --Suzanne Sunshower, Quiet Mountain Essays, January 2011


“Tina Egnoski takes significant risks with her stories, which pay off in significant rewards for the reader. She melds historical characters and events, delves deep into the most difficult emotions, and shows the pain inherent in daring to love. This is distinctive and memorable work by an exciting new author, from whom we will no doubt be hearing more in the future.” --Jessica Treadway, author of Please Come Back To Me

“These stories feature an impressive variety of voices, from the mournful reflections of a young mother whose infant has died, to a 5th grader’s naïve reports of racial conflict in a Florida town. Spare yet evocative imagery abounds--as when the fire imagined by a young girl conveys both her rage and the infuriating sexual power of her older sister. Surprising, moving, and funny by turns, these skillfully told stories explore the perishability of what we feel, know, and love.” --Tracy McCabe, Department of English, Lake Forest College

Selected Works

Winner of the 2010 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize
Winner of the 2008 Black River Chapbook Competition

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