When she isn't eavesdropping on family gossip or gazing at taxidermy squirrels in smoky dives, Courtney Kersten charts the uncertainty of her midwestern homeland by looking to the stars and planets. As a teen she had plunged deep into the worlds of signs, symbols, and prophecy. But as her mother-her traveling companion into these spheres-lies dying, Kersten must learn to navigate without the person who always lit the way. Their last journey together, to swim in a Wisconsin lake, is a bittersweet, darkly comic, poignant climax to this transformative memoir.
Courtney Kersten is an essayist and scholar. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, she teaches creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her essays can be found in River Teeth, Hotel Amerika, DIAGRAM, The Sonora Review, Black Warrior Review, and The Master's Review.