Sometimes the voices that call you home lead you astray…
Cheri and Geneva grew up on “a little patch of nothing made up of dairy farms in the valleys and boarded up iron-ore mines in the mountains, a town of old folks waiting to die and young people dying to leave.” Now, Cheri has fled that life for the city, leaving Geneva behind to care for their aunt as she succumbs to cancer. Her death draws them back together, forcing them to face their past–and each other. When Cheri’s mother turns up with a strange baby and a dangerous secret close behind, the choices that follow will push all of them beyond boundaries they never thought they’d cross.
In this stunning debut novel, Myfanwy Collins lays bare the hearts of three lost women called together by their own homing instincts in a season that will change their lives–and the place they call home–forever.
Echolocation: A Novel, by Myfanwy Collins from Myfanwy Collins on Vimeo.
Publishers Weekly calls Echolocation “stark and stirring.”
“In his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, William Faulkner stated that what writers most needed to remember was “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.” Echolocation, the debut novel by Montreal-born writer Myfanwy Collins, not only holds up to Faulkner’s credo but leaps into the realm of greatness… Collins accomplishes so much in just over two hundred pages—an enthralling plot; fully believable, deeply flawed characters; hefty thematic resonance, while not compromising the lyrical quality of her prose.” — Vanessa Blakeslee, The Kenyon Review online. To read the full review, click here.
“Echolocation is a relatively short novel, but Collins pounds the reader with emotions and tense scenes, all delivered with careful, even lyric prose. The result is a first novel that carries the inevitability of House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus, while carving its own peculiar world of strained relationships between women.” Nick Ripatrazone, The Cream City Review, Issue 36.1
“Echolocation is written with such directness and apparent simplicity that the occasional flight of fancy or narrative flair might be jarring if it weren’t almost always so remarkably right-on — the soupçon of insight or the moment of strangeness that makes these characters sharply, often surprisingly, real… And what seems like a desultory tale of many generations of mostly women suddenly telescopes into a few pivotal — and shocking — events. Nothing is quite as simple as it seems, Echolocation least of all.” — Ellen Akins , Special to the Star Tribune. To read the full review, click here.
“The language and lyricism of Myfanwy Collins’ prose never takes over; it reveals her tenderness toward the characters and the land. She is skilled at the puzzle of plot; she is skilled at poetry. This novel is a fine debut, portending more to come.” — Patricia Henley, in On the Seawall. To read the full review, click here.
“Myfanwy Collins’s Echolocation is a new classic literary crime thriller, beautifully written, seamlessly plotted, and heart-wrenching… I believe Collins clearly has earned her own rightful place in the pantheon, as the creator of ‘Adirondack Noir.'” — Maura Lynch, Loudmouthkid62. To read the full review, click here.
“Collins makes beautiful art out of terrifying and grim realities. That she does this with so much obvious love for her characters is what makes Echolocation more of an elegy than an exposé. This is compassionate fiction, thankfully still clear-eyed and penetrating, but more than anything else, it is merciful.” — Michelle Bailat-Jones, Necessary Fiction. To read the full review, click here.
“Those dual tensions, from the plot itself and from my own thwarted assumptions, kept me both engrossed in the story and wondering, in the back of my mind, what Collins was going to do with all this. And what she did was impressive: ultimately, Echolocationgoes where so few stories that build toward violence have the vision or courage to go: all the way to the aftermath.” — Steve Himmer. To read the full review, click here.
“Echolocation is a perfect little book about reality hitting hard. It’s about necessary roughness and begrudging tenderness, and it swallows one up while reading. I certainly look forward to experiencing more of Myfanwy Collins’ work.” Sara Habein, Glorified Love Letters. To read the full review, click here.
“Echolocation will appeal to readers who are drawn to stories that explore humanity in all of its facets, the good and the bad, and that consider the rocky road to redemption. Fans of literary short fiction and flash fiction will especially appreciate Collins’ tightly crafted writing and suspenseful style.” — Jennifer M Kaufman, LitStack. To read the full review, click here.
“This is a complex story, told with an assured, deft hand. Collins is a master at weaving story lines together in an artful, spare way. Every word is well-chosen. Every nuance is perfectly placed. “Echolocation” is literary fiction at its finest.” — Katrina Denza. To read the full review, click here.
“From beginning to end, readers are with Geneva and witness the struggles and successes she experiences throughout life, and when she makes her boldest decision in the novel, the one regarding what to do with Rick, the action is one readers ought to be prepared for. Later, in the closing pages of the novel, again Geneva’s choice is a surprising one, and Collins handles the final images perfectly. It’s a fitting closure for the novel and one surely to leave readers, as they’ve been throughout Echolocation, captivated and impressed.” — Brian Seemann. To read the full review, click here.
“Myfanwy Collins is masterful at evoking landscape, particularly the harsh winter landscape of way-upstate New York. This novel’s emotional and physical weather are much the same: scouring, unpredictable, and dangerous. Echolocation casts a spell and leaves you shaken.” — Pamela Erens. To read the full review, click here.
“In the sonic world, ‘echolocation’ refers to the way animals and people navigate their surroundings by making sounds and mentally mapping the echoes that return to them. Myfanwy Collins’s debut novel by the same name borrows this construct as it reunites two sisters after the death of the family matriarch.” — Abby Nance, American Book Review. To read the full review, click here.
“Myfanwy Collins tells a deep and resonant story about people she loves, and along the way shows us how to love them as well.” —Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller
“Fearless, elegant, and accessible, Echolocation is literary fiction at its best. With heartbreakingly beautiful prose, Myfanwy Collins tells a gripping and tender tale of broken souls yearning for wholeness. These are characters who will stay with you long after you turn the last page. It’s a dazzling debut!” —Ellen Meister, author of The Other Life
“Myfanwy Collins has the goods. It’s that simple. Echolocation is about love in all its magnificent slipperiness; it’s about how secrets bind us rather than rend us; it’s about the endless series of personal reinventions we call a lifetime. And these are things we had all better be thinking–and reading–about, if we plan to try and get out of this alive.” —Ron Currie Jr., author of God is Dead and Everything Matters!
“Myfanwy Collins’ debut novel calls to mind the grim and radiant work of Daniel Woodrell. From page one, I was chilled by the landscape, caught up in the trouble, and riveted by these women of northernmost New York who slam back together and figure out how to live with what’s missing.” —Pia Z. Ehrhardt, author of Famous Fathers and Other Stories
“A moving and delicate novel, tracing the poignant destinies of women who long for a home they never had.” —Laila Lalami, author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and Secret Son
“Get ready to fall madly, sadly in love with the fiction of Myfanwy Collins.” —Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh
- Echolocation listed as an Adirondack Life Regional Reads
- Echolocation on the list for The 2012 Nobbies, the official book awards of The Nervous Breakdown.
- Podcast of Myfanwy reading from ECHOLOCATION at Pen Parentis
- Rejection Part of the Process, The Worcester Telegram
- Myfanwy Collins Interview, WORD/SOUND
- Plattsburgh State Alumna Returns with Debut Novel, by Robin Caudell in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican
- Ethel Rohan‘s fresh approach to reviewing Echolocation–A Letter From The Fictional Character, Geneva, To Her Author, Myfanwy Collins.
- The Collagist interview responses are excerpts: She Wanted Her Old Arm Back or Nothing At All.
- The Importance of Being Honest, interview for Wicked Local, Newburyport
- guest host for LitChat
- featured fiction atThe Nervous Breakdown.
- excerpt from Echolocation included in The Collagist.
- Jennifer Pieroni, asks Just One Question about Echolocation.
- Echolocation Playlist at largehearted boy
- I’ve Always Dreamed of This, feature interview in Newburyport Daily News
- Pen Pals: Social Media Retrospective, guest post at She is Too Fond of Books
- Q Interviews Myfanwy Collins on Her Debut Novel ECHOLOCATION, Writing, Women, and More
- An Interview with Myfanwy Collins, by Jennifer M. Kaufman, LitStack.
- An Interview with Myfanwy Collins, by Ellen Meister, Eclectica Magazine
- Shame and Connection: An Interview with Myfanwy Collins, mixer publishing blog
- Echolocation: An Interview with Myfanwy Collins, Vernacular Literary Blog
- My First Time, The Quivering Pen
- Will it?, All ‘Lit’ Up
- Ellen Meister endorsement and Echolocation excerpt, Girlfriends Book Club