Hailed by ZZ Packer as "a master of tone, detail, and imagery," Andrew Siegris's debut collection, We Imagined It Was Rain, is a love song to Tennessee. These loosely connected stories are imbued with tenderness, seriousness, and a deep understanding of the human spirit. A young man moves to the mountains and builds an heirloom chest in the wake of his son's death; a town official must make the decision to execute a circus elephant; two siblings help their father commit suicide; a preacher picks up the pieces of his ruined church, and his marriage, after a devastating flood; locals share stories of the girl with eyelashes so long she can braid them. Siegrist demonstrates careful attention to the smallest moments, to the rain on a windowpane, to individual mementos passed down through generations, in this far-reaching and thoughtful collection.
We Imagined It Was Rain is the winner of our 2020 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize.