Is there hope within even the darkest hearts?
A woman has sex with her dead mother’s husband. A child sleeps in a makeshift nest. A sister betrays a sister. A woman takes on the persona of a dead prostitute. All are in search of that which eludes them: an acknowledgment of a shared past, the fulfillment of a secret desire, a tenuous connection made whole.
Within I Am Holding Your Hand an array of tender, stark, authentic, and sometimes very lost souls discover a reason to live through their capacity to see beauty in the everyday and instead of coming to conclusions, they discover a way to begin again.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“Much of the appeal of Collins’s fiction comes from the idiosyncratic way that the longer stories unfold, their lurch from subject to subject challenging convention, but possessing an inner logic that conforms to character. Typically, initially disjointed subjects dovetail to resonant climaxes.” – Publishers Weekly
“I want to compare the experience of reading these stories to looking at art; you see a glimpse of the artist’s world, and add your personal experiences to come away with an impression of the work as a whole.” –Ann Kingman, Books on the Nightstand
“I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND is a rare treasure. This collection of short stories brought to us by new author Myfanwy Collins is a wonderful example of writing that feels fresh and intoxicating, while maintaining the sensibility of an author who writes like a seasoned pro.” — The Masters Review
“Myfanwy Collins doesn’t just have the best name in literature—saying ‘Myfanwy’ is like hosting a party in your mouth—she also has some of the best literature in literature. There aren’t many authors anymore who I love unconditionally. I may enjoy a few of their stories, or I’ll love their last novel but not their new novel. Nobody hits it out of the park every time. Except Myfanwy, who has yet to write anything that doesn’t make me unreasonably happy and thankful that somebody invented words and paper and ink so that these stories could exist. If it was legal for me to marry a work of fiction, then I would be faced with a truly uncomfortable and impossible choice. I’d just have to marry all of the stories in I Am Holding Your Hand, which I guess would make me a polygamist. A fiction polygamist, no less. I’m okay with that.”
– Eric Spitznagel, author, journalist, humorist
“Wow! Collins takes hold of the reader’s hand right from the get-go with the hardest integrity and softest touch. With its recovered past of lyrical possibilities and tough truths, this collection of stories—long and short—embodies that desire for something, somewhere. It’s about people splinting apart, binding back together. It’s about a brilliant writer reaching out, pulling you in, leaving you breathless and gasping for more.”
“I Am Holding Your Hand is a heartfelt collection of deaths: deaths of people, dreams, love, and hope. In this gritty collection, Myfanwy Collins gives voice to characters learning to live on despite such deaths. Characters who often act badly, but who are all the more believable and sympathetic because of their mistakes, failings, and struggles. Myfanwy Collins brings such compassion and tenderness to her stories while never sparing the stark truths. One of her characters tells us, The air was so sparse that our breath whispered back into our mouths to feed us. These stories whispered into me. They fed me.”
“No writer working today combines the beautiful and the ugly, the transcendent and the devastating, with as much tenderness and candor as Myfanwy Collins. The stories in I Am Holding Your Hand are by turns profound, elemental, heartbreaking. Collins’ voice is fresh and fierce and alive. This is quite simply one of the best short story collections I have read in recent times.”