Phillip Gardner's Short Story Collection, Available Light, Available in Print and as eBook
Three-time South Carolina Fiction Project winner Phillip Gardner explores love, loss, and reconciliation in his third short story anthology. Available today from all major distributors, including Amazon's MatchBook program, "Available Light" is a tragi-comic exploration of relationships between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and children, and brothers and sisters. The richly drawn, often eccentric characters often struggle to express their love, but all are eventually able to follow a path illuminated by whatever light is available to them.
In "Get Drunk and Screw," a man attributes his wife's altered behavior to infidelity, until a call from her oncologist unveils the grim truth. "Like a Little White Chapel on the Beach" features a 15-year-old girl with a much older boyfriend, a pair of worried parents, and an eerie stalker. The hero of "Winner Take Nothing" finds he is not the father of his girlfriend's little boy, but that the child needs him anyway. The awkward moments of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are all featured in this diverse cast within their vivid Southern and Southwestern settings.
Thirteen of the stories included have been published in journals or magazines with national and international circulation or are contest winners. Ron Rash, author of "Serena" and "One Foot in Eden," says, "This new collection leaves no doubt that Phillip Gardner is in the first tier of the South's finest short story writers. His empathetic imagination, vivid language, and understanding of what makes a memorable story are of the first order. His voice is utterly his own. Available Light takes the reader beyond the realm of pain and pleasure and into the sublime."