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Into The Wilderness by David Ebenbach
Ebenbach’s collection explores the theme of parenthood from multiple
angles: an eager-to-connect divorced father takes his kids to a Jewish-themed
baseball game; a lesbian couple tries to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life; one
young couple debates the idea of parenthood while another struggles with infertility; a reserved father
uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son. But the backbone of the collection is
Judith, who we follow through her challenging first weeks of motherhood, culminating in an intense and
redemptive baby-naming ceremony.
Fiction, 204 pages
Washington Writers’ Publishing House
WANT TO GET YOUR OWN COPY? You can order Into the Wilderness through your local bookstore, or get one online, at IndieBound (which sells you the book through your local independent bookstore), Powells, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Better World Books.
Praise for Into the Wilderness:
“The arrival of a child throws the various characters in Into the Wilderness into confusion.
With delicacy and generosity, David Ebenbach follows as they try to find their uncertain ways,
discovering that, whatever their ages, some reach parenthood before they’re ready to tackle
--Stewart O’Nan, award-winning author of Snow Angels, A Prayer for the Dying, Last Night at
the Lobster, and Emily Alone
“For the very real people in David Ebenbach’s vivid and emotional stories, becoming a parent—
as Judith, the single mother in four of the stories, says—is going ‘into the wilderness.’ A trip
into the unknown, the primitive, the real. One single moment, the birth of a child, changes
everything. It is the oldest human story and, in Ebenbach’s sure hands, the truest and most
--Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of Building Fiction, The Museum of Happiness, and The Dogeater
“There’s a Yiddish proverb that says, ‘Small children disturb your sleep, big children, your
life.’ Whether writing about accidental mothers or gay fathers, dewy-eyed newborns or huffy
teenagers, unwitting grandparents or noncommittal thirty-somethings, David Ebenbach takes us
deep into the heart of the messy confusion and terror and unfathomable love that make up that
shaky state we call parenthood. These stories are fearless, honest and true. They are also a joy to
--Joan Leegant, author of Wherever You Go
David Ebenbach was born and raised in the great city of
Philadelphia, home of America’s first library, first art museum, first
public school, and first zoo, along with his very first stories and
poems – though those early efforts went on to become
(deservedly) less famous than, for example, the zoo.
Since then David has lived in Ohio, Wisconsin, Philadelphia
again, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Ohio again, picking up
some education (formal and otherwise) and more than a few
stories along the way. He has a PhD in Psychology from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from
the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
In addition to his short-story collection Into the Wilderness (October 2012, Washington Writers’
Publishing House), David is the author of another book of short stories entitled Between
Camelots (October 2005, University of Pittsburgh Press), and a non-fiction guide to creativity
called The Artist’s Torah (forthcoming, Cascade Books). His poetry has appeared in the Beloit
Poetry Journal, Subtropics, and the Hayden's Ferry Review, among other places.
He has been awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the
Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center; and an Individual Excellence
Award from the Ohio Arts Council.
David currently teaches at Georgetown University and very happily lives in Washington, D.C.
with his wife and son, both of whom are a marvel and an inspiration.
David Ebenbach @DavidEbenbach