“Houses is a fabulous book of stories that keep wandering into locked rooms, to find worlds hidden behind worlds. Its nosy, resourceful characters can’t resist stumbling into the magical-sinister or rhapsodic, demonic or glorious. What witty, astute stories these are-haunting in the best possible way. A masterful collection.”
Joan Silber, author of Improvement, Secrets of Happiness, and Household Words
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Charles Wyatt was the inaugural winner of our Hawk Mountain Award for a story collection. It is an astonishing collection, the style of which is hard to put into a single category or genre — and of course, that is the kind of work that we at Hidden River Arts are happy to support.
The stories in Houses invite us to enter the spaces and structures, the light and the shadow of our lives. Charles Wyatt invites us to think about the spaces and places we’ve inhabited in the past. His stories guide us into those places, the homes we remember from earlier times, the ones we have only dreamed of in our imaginations, those looming in our peripheral vision, whether they are real or imagined. His characters explore the darkened hallways, the locked rooms, the barren and uninhabited, the furnished and dust-covered, the inexplicable energies, sounds, sights and emotions discovered both in those surroundings and within themselves. The spaces we all inhabit, whether in built environments or those environments within our own heads are found, through Wyatt’s explorations, to be interchangeable. The interiors that surround us are the interiors within. To enter this collection of stories is to discover that mystery within yourself. There are elements of mystery, of surrealism, of the fantastic. Events seem to move into and out of dreamscape. It really is a collection created masterfully and not to be missed.
A musician, Charles earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Masters of Music Degree from the Philadelphia Musical Academy. After a long career as the principal flutist of the Nashville Symphony and the Peninsula Music Festival, Charles earned his MFA from Warren Wilson College. He served as visiting fiction writer at Binghamton University, Denison University, the University of Central Oklahoma, Purdue University, and Oberlin College. His fiction includes Listening to Mozart, Swan of Tuonela, and Falling Stones. Houses is the inaugural winner of The Hawk Mountain Award for a collection of short fiction.
Charles, sadly, passed away in 2021. We continued to work with his widow to finalize the manuscript and design, and to bring this, his last book, out into the world. We have been honored to be part of this project, and our proud to include Houses in our catalogue of extremely powerful books.