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A Korean woman in rural Kentucky clings to the love found in her new marriage as the mountain above her washes away.
A dutiful daughter struggles to help her father navigate their shared grief—and the sudden release of dangerous, exotic animals.
A new father driven by his pride confronts Japanese soldiers in a harrowing raid on his home.
In his debut collection, Michael Croley takes us from the Appalachian region of rural Kentucky and Ohio to a village in South Korea in thirteen engaging stories in which characters find themselves, wherever they are, in states of displacement. Croley uses his absorbing prose and relentless intent to uncover his characters’ hidden disquiet and to bring us a remarkable and unique collection that expands the scope of modern American literature. This stunning and relentless collection explores themes of home and displacement.
Michael Croley was born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature in 2016, his stories and essays have appeared in Narrative, Catapult, Blackbird, Kenyon Review Online, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at Denison University.
Praise for Michael Croley
"Like the best writers, Michael Croley takes us into the lives of ordinary people who have been thrust into the extraordinary circumstances of everyday life. There is not a wasted word in these thirteen taut and thrilling stories of grief, exile, and devotion. We leave Any Other Place feeling as if we know each of these sharply drawn characters and traveled to their places in the world, all of which Croley presents with startling clarity and complexity. This is one of the most exciting and beautiful story collections to come down the literary pike in a long time and announces a major new talent who infuses every story with emotion that leaves us feeling gut-punched in the best of ways. Any Other Place is a stunner." —Silas House, author of Southernmost
“Michael Croley’s Any Other Place is a story collection of immense power. Croley masterfully gathers disparate worlds through his sympathy and generous grasp. As the characters approach their truths of home, family, and duty, we witness the gorgeous possibility of what ordinary men and women seek—love, acceptance, and forgiveness.”
–Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko, finalist for the National Book Award.
"Michael Croley shows us the lives most of us inhabit—simple on the surface, with a rich and complicated inner life. His people yearn, fight, and love, make mistakes and gain success, and remain optimistic despite tough circumstances. This book will teach you about humanity and about yourself." —Chris Offutt, author of Country Dark
“In these thirteen stunning stories, Michael Croley delves deep into the lives of characters undone by grief and betrayal with crystalline compassion and deft surprise. How do we reckon with the troubled legacies we inherit? How do we square our own stark limitations with our desire to create love? Any Other Place is beautifully unafraid of such vast and thorny questions. This magnificent collection is the kind of fiction that will expand your comprehension of the world, a debut that reads with the precision and punch of a writer already in full command of his powers.” —Laura van den Berg