Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Everything Is Now

New and Collected Stories

2009
Author:

Michelle Cliff

Everything Is Now

A tour de force of short fiction from an acclaimed author

Everything Is Now brings together all the short fiction of Michelle Cliff, featuring fourteen new pieces as well as the stories from her two previous short fiction collections. Touching on such vital themes as memory, the passage of time, familial relationships, the presence of death, and the cross-influence of cultures, Cliff’s stories are broad in scope, rich in substance, and urgent in their message.

Michelle Cliff is a magician. The virtuosity of her plotting, the precision of her prose, bring distant worlds into immediate proximity. One is awed by the beauty of this book, shaken by the cruelties of history it tells.

Yvette Christiansë, author of Unconfessed

Everything Is Now brings together all the short fiction of Michelle Cliff, featuring fourteen new pieces as well as the stories from her two previous short fiction collections, Bodies of Water and The Store of a Million Items.

Cliff, born in Jamaica and raised both there and in New York, skillfully weaves her own experiences into her fiction, exploring race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism.

With stunning lyricism, intelligence, and passion, Cliff confronts the dualities of our complex world: black and white, America and the third world, past and present, femininity and masculinity, colonialism and revolution.

Touching on such vital themes as memory, the passage of time, familial relationships, the presence of death, and the cross-influence of cultures, Michelle Cliff’s stories are broad in scope, rich in substance, and urgent in their message.

Everything Is Now

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Michelle Cliff has lectured at many universities and was Allan K. Smith Professor of English Language and Literature at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She is the author of If I Could Write This in Fire (Minnesota, 2008) and of the acclaimed novels Abeng, No Telephone to Heaven, and Free Enterprise. She lives in California.

Everything Is Now

Michelle Cliff is a magician. The virtuosity of her plotting, the precision of her prose, bring distant worlds into immediate proximity. One is awed by the beauty of this book, shaken by the cruelties of history it tells.

Yvette Christiansë, author of Unconfessed

In Everything Is Now there’s an echo of the familiar that may even seem like an element of cultural property, but Michelle Cliff has the genius of turning the tables on what we thought we knew. Without the lushness and obvious ornamentation often associated with magical realism, there’s often something in a Michelle Cliff story that edges it towards that category. Her stories are grounded in histories, personal and public, with names that help to conjure real souls; however, there’s always a thread of language that pulls the reader into a magical place of silence and space. Cliff leaves numerous small doors opened for us to peer through, but we’re never lost because we are asked to see haunting reflections of ourselves. The stories in Everything Is Now continue to actively beckon long after the book has been closed; they live on in the reader’s psyche, alive with earthly insinuation.

Yusef Komunyakaa

In. . . Everything Is Now, moments are displayed in meticulous cross-section to reveal the depth of meaning in human interaction.

Curve

These stories resemble Impressionist paintings, full of sensuous imagery and emotion. Their plots are generally nonlinear, and the shorter pieces look like prose poems. These stories have a compelling beauty which almost distracts the reader from their themes of loneliness, regret, and nostalgia for past dreams that have never been fulfilled.

The Gay & Lesbian Review

The stories are like vivid snapshots of moments in time, like memories of events that come into consciousness during one’s daydreams. The richness of Cliff’s fiction is reflected in the changing and contrasting nature of the world she depicts.

Mulitcultural Review

Often moving and beautifully written.

LambdaLiterary.org

Everything Is Now

Contents

My Grandmother’s Eyes
Everything Is Now
Ashes, Ashes . . .
Then As Now
Muleskin. Honeyskin
Belling the Lamb
Crocodilopolis
Lost Nation Road
While Underneath
Ecce Homo
Water Signs
It’s All Yours
Carnegie’s Bones
Dream Street
Columba
The Ferry
A Hanged Man
A Woman Who Plays Trumpet Is Deported
American Time, American Light
Burning Bush
Screen Memory
Election Day 198
Bodies of Water
Keeper of All Souls
Transactions
Monster
Contagious Melancholia
Down the Shore
The Store of a Million Items
Stan’s Speed Shop
Wartime
Art History
Rubicon
Apache Tears
A Public Woman