On LITerally Podcast, Deborah discusses the craft of fiction and her new novel.
Review of The Days When Birds Come Back and author profile in THE OREGONIAN.
Interview on KBOO radio, Portland, Oregon
Hear Deborah read an emotional excerpt from
The Days When Birds Come Back,
and discuss grief, loss, love, writing, and living on the coast of Oregon.
“What a finely made, complex, and wholly engrossing novel this is. The people who inhabit Things We Set on Fire seem to be squeezed into some catastrophic critical mass, like the Big Bang in reverse, and yet the prose is completely under control, precise and lucid, sometimes electric with nuance, sometimes strangely musical, and always convincing. The moral pressures on these characters become almost unbearable, yet the radiance of grace and pardon and understanding shines on. Reed has given us a beautiful book.”
— Tim O’ Brien, author of The Things They Carried
“Deborah’s writing is complex, layered, diverse, and, much like the writer herself, a bit paradoxical. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s happening, everything falls out from under you…At times, her works seem reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone or Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine. Her characters are complicated and flawed, but that’s precisely what makes them real, likable, and human.”
— VICE Magazine
“Reed [writes] beautifully, with a gift for revealing her characters’ pain and strength in equal measures.”
— Orlando Sentinel
“Highly recommended… One of the images Reed uses repeatedly and to good effect is that of things being scrubbed clean, refreshed, renewed with a clean(er) slate. And a version of that is what the reader feels upon finishing this book: the mind is filled, yes, but expanded. Reed nudges outward the mind’s corners, broadening the space to fit a new good story.”
“Deborah Reed’s novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me, marries gorgeous and wise prose with a can’t-help-but-read-one-more- chapter plot. In it, Reed weaves a complex story of love and longing that’s mysterious, intelligent and full of heart. She had me from page one.”
— Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
“The lovely, lyrical prose of Reed’s novel is as rare as snowfall in Florida. And when snow, indeed, does fall in the rural Florida community depicted in the narrative, this melancholy mystery, featuring a cast of very appealing characters, evolves into an introspective study on the power of memory… Verdict: Reed, who also writes suspense fiction as Audrey Braun (A Small Fortune), is a writer to watch.”
— Library Journal
This ain’t no simple love story. It’s more like the story of our lives, rendered up close and very personal. It’s also remarkably akin to how our lives have been put to song by traditional American troubadours, primarily of the Southern variety. That’s not to say Reed’s forlorn tale is the mere literary equivalent of a country song, mind you. But it isn’t very difficult to imagine Patsy Cline or June Carter Cash voicing the sentiments that make this such a compelling debut.”
— Miami Sun Post