Join us in welcoming Hub City Press author Andrew Siegrist for a virtual event celebrating the release of his debut story collection, We Imagined It Was Rain, on October 12th at 7PM! We Imagined It Was Rain is the winner of our 2020 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, and we are thrilled to host him on the publication day for his collection.
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Hailed by ZZ Packer as “a master of tone, detail, and imagery,” Andrew Siegrist’s debut collection We Imagined It Was Rain is a love song to Tennessee. These loosely connected stories are imbued with tenderness, seriousness, and a deep understanding of the human spirit. A young man moves to the mountains and builds an heirloom chest in the wake of his son’s death; a town official must make the decision to execute a circus elephant; two siblings help their father commit suicide; a preacher picks up the pieces of his ruined church, and his marriage, after a devastating flood; locals share stories of the girl with eyelashes so long she can braid them. Siegrist demonstrates careful attention to the smallest moments, to the rain on a windowpane, to individual mementos passed down through generations, in this far-reaching and thoughtful collection.
“Reading We Imagined It Was Rain is like entering a dream journal—every sense is heightened and stretched, every memory expanded and reassembled in the hopes of deciphering the past or surviving the present. This collection reminds me of the very best writers of contemporary rural stories: Jesmyn Ward, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Wendell Berry. A keen eye for the truths of the human condition—as well as a mastery of tone, detail, and imagery—make this writer one to watch.”—Z.Z. Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
“The stories in this book haunt the heart like ghosts. Siegrist’s eye for detail is so keen and surprising it feels visionary. Though set in contemporary times, these are the oldest types of tales, of men and women, of loss and love, almost ancient in their humanity yet made bright for us again in the dark Tennessee woods. We Imagined It Was Rain does not read like a new debut in Southern Literature but rather as Southern Literature’s new debut. Mark it down. Our children will be reading Andrew Siegrist, longing for beauty in some future world, well after we’re gone. Mystic and Earthbound, searching and wise; this book is brilliant.”—M.O. Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of My Sunshine Away and The Big Door Prize
Andrew Siegrist is a graduate of the Creative Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Arts & Letters, The Greensboro Review, Pembroke Magazine, Fiction Southeast, Bat City Review, and elsewhere. He lives on the Cumberland River outside of Nashville, Tennessee.