Praise for LOST GIRLS:
"Morris has an ability to wring a lot of emotion out of a few scant details, giving the feeling of a much longer work. Many share settings and characters, which contributes to a sense of interconnectivity and added meaning... she demonstrates a shrewd understanding of what makes her characters tick. In the end, readers will leave the collection feeling as though they’ve lived pieces of several real lives. A varied set of tales from a skilled practitioner of the short form."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"A dazzling collection of stories that showcases Morris' impressive ability to hide devastating truths within seemingly small moments."
--Jenny Offill, author of Weather, Dept. of Speculation and Last Things
"There is something about reading the short stories in the collection Lost Girls by Ellen Birkett Morris that makes me think of a magic trick. Blink and you won’t be able to figure out how she does it. But then, don’t blink. Stare as hard as you can. Retrace favorite paragraphs and lines and still be mystified about her pointillistic ability to create the images and lines that take the breath out of your body and create the unforgettable lost girls — and women — who inhabit these spaces rarely immortalized as engagingly or sympathetically in contemporary literature."
--Yvette Benavides, Book Public, Texas Public Radio
“The stories in Ellen Birkett Morris’s collection, Lost Girls, are memorable for the way they see the lasting truths that reside within the familiar. These stories are full of imaginative leaps that capture the wildness that lies beneath our seemingly ordinary lives. Morris is a writer of extraordinary talent. With elegance and precision, she can turn a story into something luminous and unforgettable.”
--Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize Finalist The Bright Forever
"Ellen Birkett Morris is a skillful literary pointillist. In Lost Girls, her debut collection, each spare sentence is as considered as a poem; step back a little way, and you behold a world."
--David Payne, author of Barefoot to Avalon
"Each story showcases Morris’ abundant compassion and brilliance of vision even while providing a piercing, unflinching depiction of life. These are ingenious stories suffused with wit, prodigious intelligence, and sometimes even magical overtones."
--Kelly Fordon, Authorlink
"The female characters in Lost Girls both startle and uplift us, but most importantly they demand to be seen. Set in and around the fictional southern mining town of Slocum, each of the seventeen stories in this collection features complex women and girls in pivotal moments of loss, self-discovery, and rebellion. With the same ease found in her Bevel Summers Award-winning short story, “May Apples,” Morris weaves in difficult topics effortlessly. In this collection, she does the important work of showing women as complicated, resourceful, erotic, unlikable, and bold in the face of societal pressures and outright violence against them."
-- Rachael Greene, Southern Review of Books
"This collection of stunning and original stories kept me turning the pages, eager to meet the daughter who eats the sins of others, the 30-year-old virgin who rents a breast pump, the bereft mother drumming away her grief. Ellen Birkett Morris’s Lost Girls draws us so close that before long, we are inhaling the same air, making the same unexpected discoveries, and deeply longing for each of these girls and women to find their private rainbows."
-- Masha Hamilton, author of five novels, including 31 Hours and The Camel Bookmobile
"Morris is an incredibly skilled writer, creating quietly devastating, insightful stories which mine the lives of women and girls to build up a profound, unflinching picture of all the quirks and hurts wrapped up in everyday experiences. These stories ring absolutely true: they are shockingly perceptive, deeply probing, intelligent, and above all, beautifully written. I have spoken before about the ‘short story pang’, when you recognize a truth you’d never seen expressed before – Lost Girls delivers this feeling in spades."
-- Ellie Hawkins, Elspells Book Blog
In her debut collection, Lost Girls, author Ellen Birkett Morris takes a deep dive into the lives of women and girls, artfully mixing humor and insight to illuminate relationships and characters with crisp, elegant prose and wit.
Morris explores the experiences of women and girls as they grieve, find love, face uncertainty, take a stand, find their future and say goodbye to the past. A young woman creates a ritual to celebrate the life of a kidnapped girl, an unmarried woman wanders into a breast feeder’s support group and stays, a grieving mother finds solace in an unlikely place, and a young girl discovers more than she bargained for when she spies on her neighbors. Though they may seem lost, each finds their center as they confront the challenges and expectations of womanhood.
Ellen Birkett Morris is an award-winning writer, teacher and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, The Antioch Review, The Notre Dame Review, and The South Carolina Review, among other journals. Her commentaries have been heard on public radio stations across the United States. She is a winner of the Bevel Summers Prize for Short Fiction and the recipient of a 2013 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Morris holds an MFA from Queens University-Charlotte.
Lost Girls Reviews
Bookmarks: Literary Hub
Lit Pub: Beautiful and Contemplative
Southern Review of Books: Defiance and Female Relationships in Morris' Debut Collection, 'Lost Girls"
Book Public: Texas Public Radio
Elspells Book Blog
Story Circle Network
Finding Lost Things, The New Southern Fugitives
Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio
Lost Girls Interviews
Southern Review of Books: The Mystery and Female Power of Ellen Birkett Morris' Lost Girls
Kentucky Monthly Magazine: On Respect
Selected Prose Podcast
Chapters with Carter Seaton
The Perks of Being a Book Lover Podcast
Now, Appalachia Podcast
You Read It Here First
Finding Ellen Birkett Morris: An Interview with Dean Monti
Bidwell Hollow Interview
TBR: Lost Girls
Southern Literary Review
Book Q and A with Deborah Kalb
Our Turn: Q and A with Ellen Birkett Morris
An Interview with Sarahlyn Bruck
Lost Girls Features
Research Notes: Necessary Fiction
If My Book
Lost Girls Playlist
Five Ways to Create Memorable Characters
The Revivalist: One Story-Helter Skelter
Hypertext: Excerpt, Heavy Metal
How We Are
Lost Girls Readings
Hidden Timber Reading Series
Kathryn Ramsperger's Story Hour
INKY Reading Series