PORTLAND, OR; May 17, 2022 — Hunting Geese by Sarah Rau Peterson is a short story collection that features characters as multi-layered as Montana herself. The unnamed protagonist in Hunting Geese grapples with life choices and his just out-of-reach family while positioned on the banks of the frigid Yellowstone River awaiting the descent of geese. She Would Have and The Needing Place addresses the dynamics of a complicated father-daughter relationship told from each perspective while skirting the issues of generational gaps and aging. Wednesday’s Child’s narrator wonders what she, as a mother, did to push her daughter away, and Chickens is about, well, it’s about chickens.
From the Book
HE’S PARKED ON THE RIVERBANK to get away from the wife, holding his thermos mug and staring out at the decoys. The sky has gone pink, and he’s waiting for the geese to drop for their nightly visit. The shotgun’s loaded but the safety’s on and he can keep it on the seat next to him since Dog died. He sips his coffee-with-brandy, but it’s lukewarm despite the thermos and the bitter taste gives him heartburn. The radio won’t stop blaring talking head commentary about the upcoming presidential election — Jesus, it’s still over a year away — and he wishes he could get a sports show, maybe some rock and roll out here instead. His hands ache from the cold, his old hands that have set hundreds, thousands of decoys into frozen riverbanks, lakeshores crusted with ice, waiting, waiting. He thinks of Freezeout Lake, so cold that winter — what, damn near forty years now — he remembers it was too cold to wait for the birds outside even though the first few were already scoping out his decoys. Scattered cars and pickups around the shorelines puffing clouds from the mufflers. He knew, too, that every one of those vehicles were tuned into the same AM station out of Calgary as he was, and nobody stopped listening even when the geese came down, and all at once the horns and flashing headlights, noise that all but drowned out the sound of the startled birds lifting off and out of range, but they all whooped and hollered, all the hunters like young boys, because they believed in miracles, yes they did, when the Ruskies lost that hockey game. The wife, a few years back he had told her about that cold night in ’80, after they made that movie and everyone was talking about it again, and he teared up and then downright cried over how nobody pulled in any geese that night, but they were all brothers who emerged from warm vehicles to chant USA! USA! together into the frigid air. She wasn’t really listening, he could tell, but he got downright pissed off when she told him she didn’t remember it. Didn’t remember it! Didn’t remember the call? Al Michaels? Beating the freaking USSR, the Red Army guys? Her face was blank, and she’d said — she actually said — that she didn’t follow football. He chuckles to himself, now. That had been a hell of a conversation. He warms his hands against the heater vent, rubs them together, arthritic knuckle against arthritic knuckle.
About Sarah Rau Peterson
Sarah Rau Peterson is a first-generation Montanan. She lives with her husband and two children near Miles City, where she divides her time between the family’s cattle ranch, her middle school history classroom, and her children’s activities. She publishes occasionally in The Montana Quarterly.
About Unsolicited Press
Unsolicited Press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Unsolicited Press based out of Portland, Oregon and focuses on the works of the unsung and underrepresented. As a womxn-owned, all-volunteer small publisher that doesn’t worry about profits as much as championing exceptional literature, we have the privilege of partnering with authors skirting the fringes of the lit world. We’ve worked with emerging and award-winning authors such as Shann Ray, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Brook Bhagat, Kris Amos, and John W. Bateman. Learn more at unsolicitedpress.com. Find us on twitter and Instagram, @unsolicitedp.
HUNTING GEESE is available on May 17, 2022 as a paperback (66 p.; 978–1–956692–19–8) and e-book (all major retailers). The title is distributed to the trade by Ingram. The author is open to speaking with the media, holding readings, and engaging in other author opportunities.
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Sarah Rau Peterson