Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history, ultimately finding clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives.
Bryn Chancellor is the author of Sycamore, forthcoming from Harper (May 9, 2017), and the story collection When Are You Coming Home? (University of Nebraska Press, Sept. 1, 2015), which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Phoebe, and elsewhere. Other honors include the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award in fiction, and literary fellowships from the Arizona and Alabama state arts councils. A native of California raised in Arizona, she earned her M.F.A. in fiction from Vanderbilt University and is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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