Cover image for Mothers : stories / Chris Power.
Mothers : stories / Chris Power.
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.

Physical Description:
287 pages ; 20 cm
Mother 1: Summer 1976 -- Above the wedding -- The crossing -- The Colossus of Rhodes -- Mother 2: Innsbruck -- The haväng dolmen -- Run -- Portals -- Johnny Kingdom -- Mother 3: Eva.
Subject Term:


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Material Type
Home Location
POW Book Adult General Collection

On Order



An "extraordinary" ( The Sunday Times ) debut of unnerving beauty, Chris Power's short story collection Mothers evokes the magic and despair of the essential human longing for purpose.

Chris Power's stories are peopled by men and women who find themselves at crossroads or dead ends--characters who search without knowing what they seek. Their paths lead them to thresholds, bridges, rivers, and sites of mysterious, irresistible connection to the past. A woman uses her mother's old travel guide, aged years beyond relevance, to navigate on a journey to nowhere; a stand-up comic with writer's block performs a fateful gig at a cocaine-fueled bachelor party; on holiday in Greece, a father must confront the limits to which he can keep his daughters safe. Braided throughout is the story of Eva, a daughter, wife, and mother, whose search for a self and place of belonging tracks a devastating path through generations.

Ranging from remote English moors to an ancient Swedish burial ground to a hedonistic Mexican wedding, the stories in Mothers lay bare the emotional and psychic damage of life, love, and abandonment. Suffused with yearning, Power's transcendent prose expresses a profound ache for vanished pasts and uncertain futures.

Author Notes

Chris Power lives and works in London. His column, A Brief Survey of the Short Story, has appeared in The Guardian since 2007. He has written for the BBC, The New York Times , and the New Statesman .His fiction has been published in Granta , The Stinging Fly , The Dublin Review , and The White Review , and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Mothers is his first book.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Full of travelers and troubled relationships, Power's debut contains enough greatness to recover from sometimes repetitious narratives. "Mother 1: Summer 1976," the sparkling first story, concerns a 10-year-old Swedish girl, Eva, as she navigates her feelings toward Nisse, a neighbor boy, after she accuses him of defacing their apartment complex. Eva appears in two more stories. In "Mother 2: Innsbruck," she is a young adult, traveling Europe and contemplating suicide, while in "Mother 3: Eva," she is married with a daughter yet impaired by depression and wanderlust. "Mother 2: Innsbruck" suffers from a sameness that weakens the collection, as a series of tales revolve around characters hiking rural landscapes. Of these, "The Crossing," with its newly minted couple testing their relationship on a multiday walk, works best. Other highlights include "Johnny Kingdom," which follows a Rodney Dangerfield-esque tribute comic on his farewell performances in Florida, and "Above the Wedding," about an affair between a man and his friend's future husband. There's plenty to admire in Power's writing, and the author mines his characters for unexpected traits and decisions, making for an auspicious debut. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.