In This Side of Water, Maureen Pilkington’s bright debut collection, precise and vivid language delivers flawed characters to their moments of reckoning. A married woman goes to the cemetery to resurrect her father; a young girl at a beach club witnesses her parents’ infidelity; an icy New Year’s Eve leads a devoted husband to violent clarity; a teenager spies on her mother and a Catholic priest; a Russian “dancer” visits her American husband and plays a dangerous game. In these sixteen stories, the backdrop of water—the Long Island Sound, the sulfur polluted Monangahela River, a koi pond, a basin of holy water, a tear in a boy’s eye—provides a salve for these characters, ferrying them to personal ports of renewal and resolution.
About the Author
Maureen Pilkington’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines including The Antioch Review; Ploughshares; Puerto del Sol; Confrontation; Bridge: Art & Literature in Chicago; Orchid Literary Review; MSR Fiction Anthology; Fiction Southeast; Punctuate; Santa Barbara Review; The Pedestal Magazine; Literary Mama; Still Point Arts Quarterly; CoveyClub.com; Red Rock Review; Confrontation; The Blotter Magazine; The Weston Magazine Group; and numerous others. Her work has also been read live WCOM, FM. Pilkington worked in book publishing and received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently writing a collection of personal essays, and a novel about a friendship between two women that begins at a Catholic boarding school. Pilkington is also the founder and director of a writing program that brings authors into the inner-city schools of Manhattan to teach writing. Born in New York, Pilkington splits her time between Rye and Manhattan.
"Readers of [Pilkington’s] stories will occasionally see glimpses of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Turns out that Pilkington was a Zone rerun junkie. Characters develop quickly and style shifts from story to story. Pilkington knows the writer doesn’t have time to lure a reader with short stories and must (sorry) dive right in. She does not miss many dives." —Tom McDermott, Rye Record