Published December 2nd 2022
"I wanted to be close to you. So I went to the forest..."
Gardens, relationships and imaginations run wild in Katie Oliver's debut short fiction collection. The world is unpredictable and no woman is safe. Boundaries are blurred: between fantasy and reality, technology and nature, autonomy and oppression. The threat of violence simmers throughout as women transform into birds, converse with plants and plot their revenge. These dark, surreal tales will put down roots and stay with you long after reading: how close... is too close?
"Reading the stories in Katie Oliver’s debut collection, I Wanted To Be Close To You, is like taking a walk through an enchanted forest. There are patches of sudden light, dustings of magic and the sprinkle of surrealism, but each story is another step down the dark unknown path into the dank heart of humanity. Sharply observed and beautifully written, this is not a collection to be missed."
- Laura Besley, author of 'The Almost-Mothers', '100neHundred' and '(Un)Natural Elements'
“Creeping with vines and edged with the distant beep of sinister technology, this weird and vastly readable collection is a delight, as darkly imaginative as it is bizarre and surprising.”
- Alice Ash, author of ‘Paradise Block’ and winner of the Edge Hill Reader’s Choice Award
"I wanted to be close to you is a visceral and poignant debut collection from an author who is unafraid to deal with the messy complexity of human experience. Katie Oliver's stories deftly balance the unexpected with the everyday, and demonstrate a deep connection with the non-human world. This is a writer who is demonstrating expert precision in the use of short-form prose to explore themes of death and birth, love and loss in settings that feel alarming in their environmental prescience."
- Claire Carroll, winner of the Short Fiction/University of Essex Wild Writing prize.
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