Cover painting by John Leary
Jan English Leary’s writing deftly offers insight into the disappointments and beauty of human love. In her new collection of sixteen stories, Skating on the Vertical, Leary writes about individuals who face the challenges of infertility and parenting, estrangement and intimacy, illness and recovery, loss and redemption. At the end of the stories, the characters emerge, sometimes broken, sometimes stronger, always changed.
About the Author
Jan English Leary’s short fiction has appeared in Pleiades, The Literary Review, The Minnesota Review, Carve Magazine, Long Story, Short Literary Journal and other publications. She has received three Illinois Arts Council Awards and taught fiction writing at Francis W. Parker School and Northwestern University. Her first novel, Thicker Than Blood, was released in 2015. She lives in Chicago with her husband, John, an artist and former teacher.
“The characters in Jan English Leary’s collection Skating on the Vertical are not all skateboarders, but all are, in some way, skating on the vertical, figure-eighting through the up-and-down ramps of their lives—children subjected to bullying, loss, and adult concerns; adults struggling with regret, disintegrating relationships, and despair. Leary is a truly fine storyteller, and her characters surprise themselves (and us) with realizations that arrive late, but never—we hope, because we care for them—too late.”
—Lori Ostlund, author of The Bigness of the World and After the Parade