A Swallow Press Book
“Jane Candia Coleman is the best short story writer in America.”
John Shirley, novelist, screenwriter, critic and author of New Noire
“In stories that break the heart and lift the spirit, Jane Candia Coleman captures the distinctive voices of women and the texture of their lives.”
Ellie Wymard, author of Divorced Women, New Lives
“I have just spent many pleasurable hours reading Discovering Eve and, like Jane Candia Coleman’s other work, it worked magic on me. And like Jane Candia Coleman’s other work, through her use of language and moment, I saw things in fresh, often startling ways. Reading Jane Candia Coleman is like coming upon a landscape that at first seems vaguely familiar and then immediately pulls one into a wildly original circumstance of light and discovery that refuses to leave long after the final page is turned.”
Christopher Keane, novelist and screenwriter
This collection of stories by award-winning write Jane Candia Coleman is about women coming of age. In each one, the protagonist discovers facets, truths about herself and the world that she has not known—finds places in herself where she has never been.
“It’s long past time for women to explain themselves in fiction,” Coleman writes, “particularly literary fiction, to write about the world and their own emotions with that sensuality that characterizes women writers—to write from the inside out, and not vice versa.
“Living is a voyage of discovery, and I hope that the readers of these stories will identify with them and, perhaps, take courage from the actions of the characters I have had the pleasure of bringing to life.
“In no way did I mean to slight men in this collection. Rather, I hoped to elucidate the relationships between men and women (good and bad relationships) and the possible ways of continuing or ending such relationships.
“I have long admired D. H. Lawrence for the fact that he brought literature out of the Victorian Age, but I have also been frustrated by his inability to understand women. Several of these stories, particularly ‘Wives and Lovers’ and ‘La Signora Julia,’ were written as rebuttals to what I perceived as Lawrence’s innocence.
“The symbolism in ‘Wives and Lovers’ was unintentional, but it is there—the heart of the flower/the heart, mind, body of the female protagonist. So perhaps the most important point is that in Discovering Eve I have tried to elucidate what it is that a woman feels, and how, and why, from my own depths and from the depths of my characters who are struggling for wisdom, strength, the courage to survive.”
Jane Candia Coleman was the co-founder and Director of the Women’s Creative Writing Center at Carlow College in Pittsburgh. Her No Roof But Sky won the Western Heritage Award for poetry in 1991, and Stories from Mesa Country won the Western Heritage Award for short stories in 1992. She lives on a ranch near Rodeo, New Mexico, and writes full time.