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Gravity Dancers: Even More Fiction by Washington Area Women

ISBN 978-0931181306 400pp.

Richard Peabody, ed.

Gravity Dancers is the fourth volume of DC-area women’s fiction edited by Peabody in the past five years and the 22nd publication by Paycock Press (begun in 1976 and named for Irish playwright Sean O Casey’s play “Juno and the Paycock”). It adds adds 44 more women into the mix for a grand total of 161 women scattered throughout four thick volumes totaling more than 1,600 pages. Are there really that many women writing fiction in the DC area? Apparently so. What are they writing about? You name it. Sex, death, love, hate, birth, murder, children, parents, revenge, the endless war, and somehow laughter among the grim choices in an even grimmer world. Original fiction (only 3-4 reprints) by: Summer Blais, Elizabeth Bruce, Maud Casey, Laura Costas, Katharine Davis, Shayla Davis, Therese Droste, Julie Eill, Nan Fry, Virginia Hartman, Ellen Herbert, Helen Hooper, K. M. Huber, Elizabeth Huergo, Kyi May Kaung, Rachel Korr, Dylan Landis, Raima M. Larter, Cynthia Lollar, Alyce Lomax, Jennifer Makowsky, Sharon Morgenthaler, Molly Woods Murchie, Julee Newberger, Donna Oetzal, Denise Orenstein, Lisa Page, Maria Padhila, Meredith Pond, Julie Reilly, Elisavietta Ritchie, Carly Sachs, Laura E. Scott, Terri G. Scullen, Deena Shehata, Lynn Stearns, Lisa M. Tillman, Judith Turner-Yamamoto, Michelle von Euw, Paula Whyman, Joyce Winslow, Susi Wyss, Rebekah Yeager, and Laura Zam. Cover by Sheep Jones.


“Gravity Dancers honors a diverse and gifted group of women writers from the Washington, DC, area. The voices presented in this anthology range from tender and whimsical to passionate and political. These writers offer an imaginative variety of narrative, and break the stereotype of ‘women’s fiction’ as either narrowly angry or sentimental. I relished the range of experience and tone in this rich collection, and the willingness of each of these writers to sing her own distinctive, honest and resonant song.”

— Joyce Reiser Kornblatt, author of White Water and The Reason for Wings


“No angels tread among the writers in Gravity’s Dancers No chicks, either. Instead, there are earth-bound scrappers, vixens, female word-wizards, and flagrant myth-makers for our troubled times. Their themes are war, sex, love, parenthood, friendships, relationships, and politics. One retells Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Another advises us to “take time to find a dream or two, and have the guts not to lose them.” Connected only by the geography of one highly idiosyncratic place on the planet, these magic miniaturists speak in many tongues, write in many styles. Guaranteed: worlds made of words, and well worth the ride.”

– Jeanne Schinto, author of Children of Men and Shadow Bands


“From a city of paradoxes, here are stories that punch, whisper, charm, disturb, and thrill. Gravity Dancers is a stunning collection.”

— Leni Zumas, author of Farewell Navigator



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media contact: pickworthbell communications

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