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Flipping the American road trip genre on its head, SCENIC OVERLOOK is a debut novel-in-stories from award-winning author, Anne Ray.
Katherine (Katie, sometimes Kate) escapes family dysfunction and an acrid suburban landscape with a nomadic life that takes her across the United States, into a snare of tough choices and fierce friendships. Flipping the American road-trip genre on its head, SCENIC OVERLOOK follows a radically independent woman as she grapples with grief, uncertainty, indecision, and the perils of newfound adulthood. This gripping novel-in-stories explores what it means to grow up—and what it means to grow.
“Anne Ray’s SCENIC OVERLOOK is a startlingly good collection. With an expert mix of heartbreak, joy, and humor — and with its gorgeous language and nuanced insights — Ray has created a character and world that readers won’t soon forget.”
—Thomas Grattan, author of The Recent East
“In her gripping debut, SCENIC OUTLOOK, Anne Ray writes piercingly about grief, work, loneliness, and the relentless past. I love how passionately her heroine Kate tells her stories and I love how she almost always acts in her own worst interests. The huge accomplishment of this marvelous book is to show Kate, despite everything, towards the light.”
—Margot Livesey, author of The Boy In The Field
“Anne Ray is a true artist of storytelling, and SCENIC OVERLOOK is a masterpiece of a collection. In this powerful and profound journey through grief and self-discovery, the prose shines like jewels—bright and breathtakingly beautiful, sharp enough to draw blood. Through the lushness of Ray’s attention to detail and the depth of her emotional intelligence, the world of her characters is at once strange and exotic and achingly familiar, creating the kind of experience that simultaneously transports the reader into the narrative and reflects back to them their own desires for love, connection, and belonging. It’s an exquisite book.”
—Aryn Kyle, author of The God Of Animals
“In her novel-in-stories, SCENIC OVERLOOK, Anne Ray surveys our cultural topography through the eyes of a young woman who, escaping the realities of grief and family dysfunction, sets out across the country searching to define herself in a landscape of casual ambiguity, populated with drifters and soul-searchers who become the driving force of Ray’s perceptive and original voice. An impressive debut.”
—Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Vanishing Point
Anne Ray was raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, and has worked as a waitress, a gardener, an English teacher, and a fish monger. She's a graduate of the Creative Writing program at Carnegie Mellon University and the MFA program in fiction at Brooklyn College. A two-time fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, her fiction has appeared in more than 10 literary magazines and has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. During the daytime she's the Managing Editor at Reveal Digital, a project of JSTOR, where she oversees several digital archives of radical and historical press materials.