Swallowed by the Cold
The intricate, interlocking stories of Jensen Beach's extraordinarily poised story collection are set in a Swedish village on the Baltic Sea as well as in Stockholm over the course of two eventful years.
In Swallowed by the Cold, people are besieged and haunted by disasters both personal and national: a fatal cycling accident, a drowned mother, a fire on a ferry, a mysterious arson, the assassination of the Swedish foreign minister, and, decades earlier, the Soviet bombing of Stockholm. In these stories, a drunken, lonely woman is convinced that her new neighbor is the daughter of her dead lover; a one-armed tennis player and a motherless girl reckon with death amid a rainstorm; and happening upon a car crash, a young woman is unaccountably drawn to the victim, even as he slides into a coma and her marriage falls into jeopardy.
Again and again, Beach's protagonists find themselves unable to express their innermost feelings to those they are closest to, but at the same time they are drawn to confide in strangers. In its confidence and subtle precision, Beach’s prose evokes their reticence but is supple enough to reveal deeper passions and intense longing. Shot through with loss and the regret of missed opportunities, Swallowed by the Cold is a searching and crystalline book by a startlingly talented young writer.
Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for Swallowed by the Cold
Contact Anna Stein for more information
The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.
In the face of life's random violence and disquieting volatility, Beach's collection offers an unforgettable affirmation of the interconnectedness of all things.Lara Palmquist
One of the best legal pleasures still around is that of discovering excellent new writing. Case in point: 'Swallowed by the Cold'. These linked stories enter us, dreamlike yet unnervingly real, sometimes close to sublime for their deep, fierce insights. 'Swallowed by the Cold' is dark, seductive and worth finding.Joan Frank
San Francisco Chronicle
Reading Swallowed by the Cold calls to mind such experiences as reading Mavis Gallant’s excellent Linnet Muir stories (collected in Varieties of Exile) and offers a sharp response to the critique often leveled at short stories for being too brief or for leaving things unresolved.Brandon Taylor
Electric Literature Full Review
This is a wonderful book―graceful and assured, spare and compassionate―and Jensen Beach is a fiercely talented writer.Molly Antopol
This book held me fast.Ron Carlson
Honestly, fans of contemporary short fiction can’t do much better than this.Chris Bachelder
This is not just a book, but a world.Jack Livings