From Kirkus Review: "Keenly observed and lyrical, an evocative collection with emotional heft."

From Foreward Reviews: A powerful debut collection. This book sucks the audience in like the Tuckahoe River that runs through the pages, and it never lets them go."

From San Francisco Book Review: "Dent’s style is distinct, artsy and consistent."

The sixteen tales in Unfinished Stories of Girls are framed by the quiet yet violent towns, fields, and riverbeds of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The reader is invited inside the lives of people who are trying to figure out the gleaming, marshy world.

A girl in the tiny town of Cordova believes she is receiving holy instructions to save men through sex. An Oxford housekeeper serves time in prison for forging employers’ signatures. A jewelry clerk and an undercover cop from Cambridge live in a doomed TV marriage. The tidewater community stews in its guilt over a hit-and-run accident that leaves a child dead.

In this extraordinarily powerful debut collection, each character’s deep love of the region shines. But the landscape continually shifts around them: giving so much, and taking so much away.


Advanced praise for Unfinished Stories of Girls:

"What a great pleasure to read Catherine Dent’s stories, immersed as they are in place and time, exploring the mysteries of human connection—or missed connection—under duress. Each story resonates with a kind of haunting as it flickers deftly in and out of perspective; complicit narrators, hidden in shadows; girl-ghosts, alive and dying. A kind of madness runs through the stories of these girls and the women they might have, or have, become; with the economy and intensity of poetry, Dent lays bare their unfinished lives."

—Rebecca Godwin, author of Keeper of the House and Private Parts


“In stories simultaneously graceful and gritty, fabular and rock-hard real, Dent alchemizes apparent paradoxes into an utterly original vision.  An accomplished and inspiring debut.” 

—Ann Pancake, author of Strange as This Weather Has Been and Given Ground


"Catherine Zobal Dent's collection UNFINISHED STORIES OF GIRLS got me excited as only the discovery of a fresh new voice can.  In these lovely pieces she does so many things so well that it's hard to know where to start.  Suffice it to say that I was both moved and surprised time and again."

--Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Lost Chances

The Creative Writing Guidebook is the key text for learning creative writing. Packed full of useful advice, exercises and readings, it sets out an informative and inspiring introduction to writing creatively. Taking a practical, workshop approach to creative writing, this comprehensive guidebook includes: introductions to genres of writing, including the novel, poetry, screenwriting, new media and non-fiction; workshop exercises suitable for each genre; a wide-range of examples and suggestions for further reading and discussions of cross-genre issues such as point of view, character, setting and voice. Written by internationally renowned experts, this is the definitive textbook on creative writing for students. 

Contributors include: Catherine Dent, Ken Dancyge, Adrianne Finlay, Graeme Harper, Gill James, Jeri Kroll, Oliver Mayer, Graham Mort, William S. Penn, Hazel Smith, and Silas Zobal.


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To purchase a copy of "Rise" published in Harvard Review click here.

To read a story published online in PANK, click here.

To read a story in Drunken Boat, click here.