How a Moth Becomes a Boat

Josephine Rowe

How a Moth Becomes a Boat
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How a Moth Becomes a Boat

Josephine Rowe

‘Beautifully wrought and wonderfully eclectic - a brilliant, powerful collection of very short, short fiction.’ - Emmett Stinson, RRR A father teaches his daughter how to break whiskey bottles. A woman looks for an old lover in a satellite photograph. A man finds the voice of his dead wife on an unlabelled cassette tape. A blind girl dreams about the taste of the moon. Josephine Rowe captures the briefest moments; small joys, lost dreams, and silent heartbreak in these stylish, bittersweet short stories. In restrained prose touched with poetry, accompanied here with John Skibinski’s elegant line illustrations, How a Moth Becomes a Boat is a beautiful vision of life in miniature.


This commercial reissue of poet Josephine Rowe’s self-published story collection is filled with bittersweet moments of unbridled humanity. With all stories clocking in at under 1000 words and bearing single-word titles, How a Moth Becomes a Boat fits neatly in the pocket whilst quietly sidling up to nuzzle under the chin.

Here we have such tales as a blind girl staring at the moon, a man apologising to the dying fox he has trapped and a lover tracing a map of the world on his girlfriend’s body. Each glowing story seems dipped in gold, at times devastating in its comprehension of what it is to be human, but somehow life affirming. Richard Brautigan once said he wrote poetry in order to learn how to write short stories in order to learn how to write novels. Based on these achingly beautiful, momentous shorts in which Rowe imbues so much life and feeling, we not only have an inheritor to his throne in our midst but a writer truly destined for greatness. A rare, unforgettable collection that will be talked about for years to come.

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