“Lucas’ stories are tightly wound coils of fury that push you into dark places just to pounce. Her collection, Here in the Dark, is a cherry bomb in a mailbox just waiting to blow your fucking fingers off.”
– Brian Panowich, author of Bull Mountain, Hard Cash Valley, and Nothing but the Bones
“Meagan Lucas is one of the most exciting new voices in Southern fiction. In Here in the Dark, she crosses deeply nuanced portraits of compromised characters with genre-smashing narrative techniques, producing a collection of stories as exciting to read as they are beautiful and true. This one is something special.”
– Nathan Ballingrud, author of The Strange and North American Lake Monsters
“Honest and unflinching, elegant yet brutal, Meagan Lucas illuminates the darkest corners of the human condition in this extraordinary collection. These are stories wrought with sympathy and pitch-perfect realism, exploring the heartaches and hard truths about addiction, class, gender, and the perils of parenthood. Like Claire Keegan and Dorothy Allison, Lucas renders characters with a breadth of range but never fails to show a mother’s love to these damaged souls. Here in the Dark is the declaration of a considerable talent.”
– Peter Farris, award-winning author of The Devil Himself and Last Call for the Living
“Like lightning, every story in Meagan Lucas’s new collection is a flash of brilliance – a bolt right to the reader’s heart. With Here in the Dark, Lucas takes risks and never flinches, she embraces the darker sides of humanity, without once dehumanizing her characters and proves, without a doubt, why she’s one of the most exciting new voices in Appalachian Noir.”
– Steph Post, author of Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, Holding Smoke, and A Tree Born Crooked
Meagan Lucas’s Here in the Dark is powerful and poignant. The 16 stories in this collection are full of heart and hurt and horror, each one illuminating her darkened corner of rural America in unflinching, unvarnished prose. Her characters are wounded but surviving, their hometowns ravaged but resilient, their stories painful but beautiful. This a necessary, unforgettable book about people and communities most often forgotten, from one of the finest Southern literary authors writing today.
– J. Todd Scott,author of Call the Dark, The Flock, High White Sun, The Far Empty, This Side of Night, and Lost River
Meagan Lucas’s Here in the Dark features strong, desperate, determined female protagonists, all fighting their good fights. The collection as a whole works like a murmuration, with characters all linked to their hard-scrabble Appalachian lives. This is Grit Lit and Rural Noir at its best.
– George Singleton, author of You Want More: Selected Stories
“Meagan Lucas’s Here in the Dark is a superb collection of dark, gritty fiction in which womanhood takes center stage. Packed with tension and as many great last lines as there are stories, this is Lucas at her best, and the result proves she’s as good at short fiction as she is at writing novels. Don’t miss it.”
– Gabino Iglesias, author of The Devil Takes You Home
“Gritty, gut-twisting tales of women doing the impossible things they need to do to get by in this world. Lucas writes with a rich country flavor I can’t get enough of, and I devoured these stories like a plate of hot wings—savoring the burn, sucking meat off the bone, asking for seconds.”
– Laura McHugh, award-winning author of What’s Done in Darkness
Meagan Lucas is a brave new voice in Southern fiction. Songbirds & Stray Dogs packs a double shot of grit and heart, with a story stretching from the beaches of the Carolina Lowcountry to the Land of the Sky and a heroine who doesn’t know the word quit. An unflinching portrait of motherhood,trauma, and the family we make along the way.
~Taylor Brown, author of Gods of Howl Mountain, The River of Kings and Fallen Land
Songbirds and Stray Dogs may be Meagan Lucas’ debut novel, but the voice echoing from its pages is so striking you’ll be haunted long after you turn the last page. In this gutsy story of a young woman fighting tooth and nail for survival, you’ll find both grit and grace and a ringing honesty that refuses to back down. Not often do I read a novel and form an instant kinship with both the author and protagonist, but Songbirds and Stray Dogs captured from me the first, stirring scene and held me all the way until new life began to grow from the ashes. A stunning, startling novel.
~ Steph Post, author of Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, and A Tree Born Crooked
Meagan Lucas has woven a lush and heartwarming story of well-meaning people trying to find their way in a world that can seem fractured beyond repair. Thrust into difficult circumstances beyond their control, Jolene, Chuck, and Cash wrestle with how to escape the past and forge a path forward. From devastating setbacks to the uplifting conclusion, every moment of their memorable journey brings us closer to these characters’ true selves.
~Heather Bell Adams, author of Maranatha Road
“Vivid” may be the best single word to sum up this book which is rich with language and description, where every paragraph offers one delicious turn of phrase after another. Poignant observations transform every day into intriguing as the author exhibits an ability to dissect human behavior down to its barest motives. Unable to escape emotional yearning for multiple characters embroiled in tragedy, I found myself both cheering and crying as either misery or triumph unfolded.
~ Evan Williams, author Ripples