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“This is a sharp, wise, aching beauty of a collection. In these pages, Cheryl Pappas gifts us with afterflowers, an old woman frozen in place, beasts and witches lying in wait, a king who blithely dreams of tulips, volcanoes on Mars, and so much more. These stories are daring, daunting, desire-filled. Pappas brings tremendous skill and range to this captivating debut, landing it with truly one of the most beautiful and profound flash pieces I have ever read.”

— Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works


"This is a superb collection of flash. The writing is fresh, uninhibited, and original. Two standout stories are “Stranger” and

“Tending the Elephant”—one realist, the other magical realist. Each has that quality found in works by all good writers: yearning, without sentimentality. The whole collection shines; it’s short fiction with depth, which is not an easy thing to do, but Pappas carries it off with aplomb. I think this writer will have a long and successful career."

— Peter Jordan, author of Calls to Distant Places


“In these sixteen lovely tales, Cheryl Pappas charms the reader like a totally 21st-century Christina Rossetti. The Clarity of Hunger is a beautiful debut collection: entertaining, moving, and new.”

— Kate Bernheimer, World Fantasy Award–winning editor and author of How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales and Other Stories.


“Cheryl Pappas's THE CLARITY OF HUNGER plants astonishment in soil so dark and so rich, it grows as large and bright and dangerous as the very first apple. Reading Pappas's stories is to take a bite and to suddenly know the unknowable so intimately it's like you just took a bite out of your very own heart. If I could, I'd eat these stories all day and then ask for more.”

— Sabrina Orah Mark, author of Wild Milk


Cheryl Pappas is an American writer living outside Boston. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in Juked, The Chattahoochee Review, Hobart, Ploughshares, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere.

the clarity of hunger

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