True Places Never Are


Short Stories by Cate McGowan
205 pages
6″ x 9″
978-0-913785-58-4 (paper)
April 2015


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In her debut collection, Cate McGowan introduces us to an assortment of characters, a passenger manifest voyaging through loss and salvation. The book’s title borrows from Moby Dick: “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” McGowan’s characters are indeed off the map; they venture into wondrous worlds as knotty and distressing as the places they aim to leave.

In prose highlighted by moving observations and vivid imagery, McGowan’s characters represent an unusual hodgepodge of everyman—children, men, and women who inhabit different eras and countries, all sharing the need for deliverance. They populate the aftermath of tragedy. Deeply affecting and varied in tone, the nineteen stories in the collection are a colony of laundromats and the Louvre; of mule pulls and boxing rings; of Georgia red clay and cobblestones.

In this collection, true places are indeed hard to find, yet hope is every person’s traveling companion. In True Places Never Are, McGowan reminds us that wherever you are in the world, redemption might not be far away.

Cate McGowan, a Georgia native, has published fiction in Glimmer Train, Snake Nation Review, The Louisville Review, The GSU Review, and Moon City Review, among other journals. She’s lived in New York City, Upstate New York, Missouri, Scotland, and various other points on the map. She now lives in Central Florida and teaches writing at Valencia College.

“As I read these remarkable stories, I fell headlong for Cate McGowan’s tender, fierce, and deliciously complicated characters. Gritty and gorgeous, True Places Never Are is an astonishing collection and McGowan is a one-of-a-kind talent.” –Laura Van Den Berg, author of Find Me

Distributed for Moon City Press

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