by Vanessa Blakeslee
Everyone here is both at home and lost: a deep sea fisherman discovers he may not be allowed to return to shore; a newlywed couple embark on a disastrous honeymoon; a niece and uncle debate the ethics of hunting after a nuclear fallout; a surfer struggles between cross-continental commitments and local attractions; and a single mother begins preparations for the end of the world as we know it. From the unforgiving surf of Costa Rica to suburban Florida, the stories in Perfect Conditions arise within worlds we know and others that only resemble our own. Blakeslee’s characters often struggle to find control in unrelenting circumstances, in places which are often anything but welcoming.
PRAISE FOR VANESSA BLAKESLEE:
Praise for Juventud:
"Among the many things to admire about Vanessa Blakeslee's first novel, Juventud, foremost must be its ambition ... Blakeslee has upped her game in Juventud, by and large maintaining control over a terrain that, vast as it is, feels nonetheless suited to her talent. At her best, she can enliven every corner of that terrain, so that as her protagonist's world expands, its connections sharpen."
"From Colombia to Washington, DC, Juventud crosses international borders as it follows the growth of a singular young woman. Half romance, half meditation on global affairs, it portrays how the past can affect the present and how memory can be fallible. And above all, it demonstrates that while personal history can influence someone, it does not have to define them."
"Blakeslee’s poetic language and exquisite descriptive detail give Juventud a canvas on which to portray what it is like to grow up with daily peril and family secrets ... The characters’ intriguing discussions about social justice, good and evil, activism, love, forgiveness, and hope serve to strengthen and enhance the story’s essence."
—Jewish Book Council
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vanessa Blakeslee is the author of Juventud, winner of the IPPY 2016 Bronze Medal in Literary Fiction. Her debut collection, Train Shots, won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction and was long-listed for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Her writing has appeared in The Southern Review, Green Mountains Review, The Paris Review Daily, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere She lives in Florida.
Publication Date: August 2018