The Strange Beautiful

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2023

Part vivid his­tor­i­cal dra­ma, part melan­choly fever dream, The Strange Beau­ti­ful cen­ters on Mount Ver­non Apart­ments in Spokane, Wash­ing­ton, offer­ing a glimpse into the lives of ten ten­ants over a peri­od of one hun­dred years.

In the open­ing sto­ry, The Song­bird, we meet the building’s care­tak­er, a WWI vet­er­an try­ing to rebuild his life amidst the Span­ish flu epi­dem­ic. In The Tele­phone, a 21st-cen­tu­ry poet’s long­ing for a bygone era nur­tures a friend­ship that tran­scends time. A 1930s depart­ment store man­nequin nav­i­gates the chal­lenges of wom­an­hood in the sur­re­al, dark­ly humor­ous tale, The Man­nequin. In The Suit­case, an exhaust­ed woman scram­bles to tidy up her boyfriend’s unprocessed emo­tions, which have mate­ri­al­ized inside box­es all over the apart­ment. And in the final sto­ry The Mir­ror, a nov­el­ist believes she is the rein­car­na­tion of a Jew­ish Spokane socialite who inhab­it­ed her apart­ment 100 years before her.

As we wit­ness the qui­et but fraught moments of the ten­ants’ every­day lives, these uncan­ny nar­ra­tives cre­ate a world that is at once famil­iar and fantastic.

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