ISBN-10: 0998267554
ISBN-13: 9780998267555
Publisher: Public Space Books
Publish Date: 05/05/2020
Dimensions: 8.00" L, 5.30" W, 1.10" H

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage: The Selected Stories of Bette Howland

Afterword by: Honor Moore


Price: $18.00


The acclaimed collection that restored to the literary canon “a long-overlooked artist of live-wire incisiveness, shredding wit, and improbable beauty.”

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage restores to the literary canon an extraordinarily gifted writer, who was recognized as a major talent, with Guggenheim and MacArthur “genius” fellowships, before all but disappearing from public view for decades, until nearly the end of her life when her work was rediscovered.

Bette Howland herself was an outsider: an intellectual from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago; a divorcée and single mother, to the disapproval of her family; an artist chipped away at by poverty and perfection. Each of these facets plays a central role in her work. Mining her deepest emotions for her art, she chronicles the tensions of her generation–and her native city–with a flair for language in the tradition of Lucia Berlin, Kathleen Collins, and Grace Paley. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage introduces a new generation of readers to a wry, brilliant observer and a writer of great empathy and sly, joyous humor. With an afterword by Honor Moore.

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A Best Book of 2019 according to the Chicago Tribune, Kirkus, Booklist,, and the Chicago Public Library

If there's a Howland bandwagon (and there should be), hold me a seat, or I'll stand.
Peter Orner

Howland creates stark and strange works of genius, portraying the complexities of family relationships as beautifully as she portrays her narrators' insecurities, judgments, and anxieties.... This is a collection to savor, and Howland is an author to celebrate.
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Loving, lacerating sketches... With her flexible stance toward reality, her eye for the amusing, curious, minutiae of existence, and her tonal range, Howland recalls the short-story writer Lucia Berlin.
Abigail Deutsch, Harper's

An insanely sane mix of the hard-to-fight city in the '70s and the accidental poetry of families stumbling through time.
Robert Sullivan, Vogue

The recent celebration of fellow forgotten female artists, the short story writer Lucia Berlin, championed by Lydia Davis, or the painter Himla af Klint, showcased at the Guggenheim, reminds us how necessary it is to restore these visionaries, to help reshape our collective artistic history.... Expanding the canon to make room for Howland enhances our reading of the literature she's in conversation with. This includes, notably, the stories of working-class America by her contemporary Raymond Carver.
Jenessa Abrams, Guernica

Like Bellow, Howland was a bard of Chicago, even at its most alarming.... A voice at once gritty and lyrical, despairing even while tenaciously holding onto hope. That Howland's work is back with us again shows that hope won out, after all.
Diane Cole, Jewish Week

The stories of Bette Howland return to you like friends met once in a dream–strange, familiar, roughing up the texture of your days. These are stories that defy classification, but seem as fresh and vital as though they were written last week. The revival of Howland's work is one of the best things to have happened in recent memory.
Madeleine Watts, McNally Jackson

Bette Howland hit me like a meteor. She writes with the deft narrative voice of Grace Paley and Eudora Welty's fidelity of place, yet her work fell out of print. This collection brings her back, and we're all lucky.
Andrew Kay, East City Bookshop

"The rediscovery of Bette Howland as a major American writer not only feels just and right, it was, in retrospect, inevitable. A voice this unique simply can't be forgotten or ignored forever. Her words, though in many cases decades old, remain refreshing and vital. Her concerns are our concerns. In many ways she came to us when we needed her most."
Jeff Martin, Magic City Books

"You won't be able to stop yourself from devouring [Bette Howland's] strange and wonderful short story collection, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage."
192 Books

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ISBN-10: 0998267554
ISBN-13: 9780998267555
Publisher: Public Space Books
Publish Date: 05/05/2020
Dimensions: 8.00" L, 5.30" W, 1.10" H
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