Skip to Main Content

For All the Obvious Reasons

And Other Stories

LIST PRICE $29.99
PRICE MAY VARY BY RETAILER

For All the Obvious Reasons is Lynn Stegner’s superb collection of nine, remarkably distinct tales of passion, clear-eyed wisdom, and honesty honed to a cutting edge. These are stories the reader can’t shake: A woman living a marital shadow-life realizes that her long compensating heart has begun to ominously decompensate. An affluent New Yorker becomes a hoarder to escape a future he cannot bear to take up. A baby dies in a miasma of sibling resentments and from that, the secrets of culpability unravel. A construction worker and a bereaved young neighbor together find a way to be in a broken world. And in the beautifully moving narrative that closes the volume, a story about the depth of goodness and duty, and of the profound love they both define and prevent. From the wild rivers of British Columbia to the cement jungle of Manhattan, Stegner pulls us from our own worlds into her own. With luminous particulars and in richly orchestrated language, these stories sound the vibrant, sometimes anguished music that composes human lives.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

“Betrayal and confusion, denial and grief, new beginnings and old scores all coalesce in Stegner’s incandescent collection of short fiction, in which she mines the uncharted territories of human vulnerability and strength. . . . Leaving an indelible impression on the reader’s memory, Stegner’s stories vibrate with a hint of danger, a discernible foreboding that the circumstances of her otherwise unremarkable characters are about to take a momentous turn. A fitting recommendation for fans of Lorrie Moore, Emma Donoghue, and Karen Russell.”--Booklist

"The luminosity of Stegner's images and certain crystalline moments in these stories might remind a reader of the most powerful of James Salter's work. The blade-like deftness of the characters' interior pronouncements and realization—often coming with surprising and breathless misdirection--might remind readers as well of the work of Alice Munro: though the more I read of Stegner, the more I come to recognize not just her voice, tone, and style, but her own underlying spirit. There exists in her characters a veil between intent and action—the taut confusion of yearning." -- Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

"In For All the Obvious Reasons, Lynn Stegner has assembled a fearless, formidable collection of stories. An astonishingly wise writer, she delivers tough, worldly characters to the brink of disaster and asks them what it is they wish to live for. They answer her, and us, with their bodies and their souls. This is fiction to learn from, and live by." --Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto and Ghosts of Wyoming

"For All the Obvious Reasons is the most rewarding story-collection I’ve read in years. Lynn Stegner’s prose is consummately rich in detail and deeply intelligent about the human sensibility; her characters are vivid and compelling; and her stories take turns and make revelations that will make you catch your breath."-- David Huddle, author of Nothing Can Make Me Do This

"Like only the best storytellers, Stegner is a shapeshifter. She is so masterful with language and thought, one emerges from her stories as though from a thoroughly remembered dream." -- Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

“A gifted writer . . . elegant ideas . . . beautiful writing . . .” New York Times Book Review (for Pipers at the Gates of Dawn)

“Stunning . . . The poetic detail of Stegner’s sentences—not to mention her wanton protagonist—is reminiscent of the novels of John Updike . . .” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice (for Because a Fire was in My Head)

“. . . a psychologically compelling and indelible novel; Stegner’s smooth, flowing prose style and dead-accurate descriptions (sometimes heartrending, sometimes wickedly funny) keep drawing the reader deeper and deeper into her story.”—San Francisco Chronicle (for Fata Morgana)

"These stories are magnificently inhabited, each a whole world and voice unto itself, novelistic in scope yet succinct and disturbing and beautiful in the way only short stories can be. They are carefully wrought and thought; transporting and convincing and surprising. Awesome--as in, I stand in awe."-Antonya Nelson

“Betrayal and confusion, denial and grief, new beginnings and old scores all coalesce in Stegner’s incandescent collection of short fiction, in which she mines the uncharted territories of human vulnerability and strength. . . . Leaving an indelible impression on the reader’s memory, Stegner’s stories vibrate with a hint of danger, a discernible foreboding that the circumstances of her otherwise unremarkable characters are about to take a momentous turn. A fitting recommendation for fans of Lorrie Moore, Emma Donoghue, and Karen Russell.”--Booklist

"The luminosity of Stegner's images and certain crystalline moments in these stories might remind a reader of the most powerful of James Salter's work. The blade-like deftness of the characters' interior pronouncements and realization—often coming with surprising and breathless misdirection--might remind readers as well of the work of Alice Munro: though the more I read of Stegner, the more I come to recognize not just her voice, tone, and style, but her own underlying spirit. There exists in her characters a veil between intent and action—the taut confusion of yearning." -- Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

"In For All the Obvious Reasons, Lynn Stegner has assembled a fearless, formidable collection of stories. An astonishingly wise writer, she delivers tough, worldly characters to the brink of disaster and asks them what it is they wish to live for. They answer her, and us, with their bodies and their souls. This is fiction to learn from, and live by." --Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto and Ghosts of Wyoming

"For All the Obvious Reasons is the most rewarding story-collection I’ve read in years. Lynn Stegner’s prose is consummately rich in detail and deeply intelligent about the human sensibility; her characters are vivid and compelling; and her stories take turns and make revelations that will make you catch your breath."-- David Huddle, author of Nothing Can Make Me Do This

"Like only the best storytellers, Stegner is a shapeshifter. She is so masterful with language and thought, one emerges from her stories as though from a thoroughly remembered dream." -- Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

“A gifted writer . . . elegant ideas . . . beautiful writing . . .” New York Times Book Review (for Pipers at the Gates of Dawn)

“Stunning . . . The poetic detail of Stegner’s sentences—not to mention her wanton protagonist—is reminiscent of the novels of John Updike . . .” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice (for Because a Fire was in My Head)

“. . . a psychologically compelling and indelible novel; Stegner’s smooth, flowing prose style and dead-accurate descriptions (sometimes heartrending, sometimes wickedly funny) keep drawing the reader deeper and deeper into her story.”—San Francisco Chronicle (for Fata Morgana)

"These stories are magnificently inhabited, each a whole world and voice unto itself, novelistic in scope yet succinct and disturbing and beautiful in the way only short stories can be. They are carefully wrought and thought; transporting and convincing and surprising. Awesome--as in, I stand in awe."-Antonya Nelson