House Gone Quiet: Stories (Paperback)

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Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence | Named a Best Book of 2023 by Library Journal and Debutiful

An eerie, irresistible debut story collection about the bonds and bounds of community and what it means to call a place home, “perfect for readers of Margaret Atwood and Carmen Maria Machado” (Booklist).

“A writer to watch if there ever was one.” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain-Gang All-Stars

“Kelsey Norris’s carefully and beautifully crafted tales left me laughing, gasping, and completely enthralled.” —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

A group of women contemplate violence after they’re sent into foreign territory to make husbands of the enemy. A support network of traumatized joggers meets to discuss the bodies they’ve found on their runs. And a town replaces its Confederate monument with a rotating cast of local residents. Slippery but muscular, sly but electric, this stunning debut collection moves from horror to magical realism to satire with total authority. In these stories, characters build and remake their sense of home, be it with one another or within themselves.

As in the very best collections, each of these stories is a world all its own, with a novel’s emotional heft and a poem’s laser focus on the most achingly resonant details of its characters’ lives. Captivating from start to finish, House Gone Quiet announces the arrival of a thrilling literary talent.

About the Author


Kelsey Norris is a writer and editor from Alabama. She earned an MFA from Vanderbilt University and has worked as a teacher in rural Namibia, a school librarian, and a bookseller. Her work has been published in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, and Oxford American, among others. She is currently based in Washington, DC. Find more at KelseyNorris.com.

Praise For…


"Norris’s ruminative characters drift through their communities and lives like ghosts, free to roam and ponder their haunts yet fixed in space... The stories largely center on collectives. Women displaced by war, families, townspeople, radio station listeners and employees all take turns in the book’s spotlight, brought to life with rhythmic prose that channels the lyricism and end-stops of poetry."New York Times Book Review

House Gone Quiet chronicles characters at a turning point between upheaval and the path of reconciliation.... Norris is skillful and generous in allowing the reader to be detective as well as an implicit part of the story…this collection resonates most for the questions it leaves unanswered.”—Chapter 16

"Kelsey Norris writes about place with a unique perspective throughout the collection, which gives each story a truly lived-in experience. She dazzles across genre and offers up a delicious bite for all kinds of readers."Debutiful 

"Every story presents thought-provoking questions about what makes a community hold strong and, conversely, what causes its individual members to break. Read, and find your own tipping point."—Chicago Review of Books

"Ranging from social commentary ripe with sardonic wit to the dreamy surrealism of bioluminescent algae, Norris’s stories are indeed individually contained and yet connected, each pointing its unique lens toward ideas of community and belonging...This debut collection is approachable and entertaining, using the power of storytelling to explore and then to connect new perspectives on familiar situations."Southern Review of Books

“The windows in the House Gone Quiet offer a glimpse into communities drawn together in strange times…Norris presents a wide cast of characters in their own worlds, each overflowing with a sense of eeriness and surrealism…With its moments of dark humor, this genre-defying debut is perfect for readers of Margaret Atwood and Carmen Maria Machado.”Booklist

"A vivacious collection of ten short stories... The sheer variety of genres, settings, and subjects means that the collection resembles a tasting menu--a showcase of the range of this debut writer... Perfect for fans of Danielle Evans."Shelf Awareness

"Norris’s skillful debut collection evokes an atmosphere of foreboding across a wide variety of situations... [House Gone Quiet] bears the mark of an assured writer."—Publisher's Weekly

"Imaginative, dark, and haunting... These ten magnetic stories range from otherworldly to intimate."—Kirkus

"First-rate, precise, and perceptive short stories full of voices, feeling, and far-ranging knowledge of the world: Kelsey Norris’s exciting first collection is a book I’ve been waiting to read for some time."Lorrie Moore, author of I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home

"From searing satire to haunting magical realism, Kelsey Norris's carefully and beautifully crafted tales left me laughing, gasping, and completely enthralled. An inventive, clever, and beguiling collection."—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“Kelsey Norris's work is tender, bold and beautiful whether she is working in the surreal or creating power in the familiar. She has all the tools a writer needs and more importantly, she is not afraid to use them all to be more than one thing... A writer to watch if there ever was one.”
—Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain-Gang All-Stars

"A playful, far-ranging, and unruly collection from a writer whose keen eye and joy in language leap out on every page."C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold and Land of Milk and Honey

"House Gone Quiet is small but mighty. The stories in this collection are astonishing jewels; you turn them over in your hands, dazzled by the many glints and facets. Kelsey Norris is a wonder on the page, surprising and graceful, adept at seamlessly moving the reader through the marvelous worlds she's created. Tense, moving, and hilarious at turns--House Gone Quiet is an absolute delight. I loved every second of it."—Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668016312
ISBN-10: 1668016311
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: October 17th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English