Books

Valerie Miner’s books are available through the conventional
on-line sources such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble (click on the book covers
below to order). Valerie encourages shopping at independent bookstores whenever
possible. One such store which contains her books is Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon.

Travelling with Spirits cover
TRAVELING WITH SPIRITS
(novel)
Fall 2013
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“Traveling with Spirits is a provocative, engaging odyssey through northern India and the U.S. Midwest. Valerie Miner is brave enough to ask tough questions about religion, politics, and international aid, generous enough to acknowledge human goodness alongside human failings. The result is a vibrant portrait of Monica Murphy, physician of body and her own soul.
I was immediately absorbed by the novel and found it completely engaging. The subtlety and complexity with which Miner treats religion, healthcare, and the complications of First World aid in a postcolonial world are deeply impressive.” — Valerie Sayers, author of The Powers

Read on..

 


 

After Eden cover
AFTER EDEN
(novel)
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press
Spring 2007
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“Densely layered yet transparent, tragic yet shimmering with hope, After Eden is the story of a very special community of women in Northern California, as well as the account of one woman’s grief over the unexpected loss of her beloved. Ultimately, it is an affirmation of community values and their triumph over adversity. After Eden offers a compelling narrative enriched by lyrical passages of stunning beauty. I found myself marvelling at Miner’s writerly gifts and the spiritual strength that underlies the novel. I have no doubt about it: After Eden is a necessary novel for the 21st Century.” — Pablo Medina

 


 

Abundant Light cover
ABUNDANT
LIGHT
(short stories)
East Lansing: Michigan
State University Press

FALL 2004
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Featured Excerpt: “They pulled up by the Oakville grocery and cafe on a silver harley. Rather, they sashayed to the curb, which is a movement you might not associate with motorcycles. The muscular, grey-bearded man drove; the thin blond woman sat behind, holding onto his small belly. You noticed their black helmets gleaming in late-afternoon sun. She hopped off, waited by the low patio wall. He was settling the cycle, like a bee honing its stinger into flesh. The loud strong engine left a hole in the soundscape; not silence exactly, but some powerful absence. Unbuckling her helmet, she shook out blond curls of different lengths.”

Read on..

 


The Night Singers cover
THE NIGHT
SINGERS
(short stories)
Nottignham, Five
Leaves Press

2004; Open Road Media, 2014.
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Valerie Miner’s stories consider the fluctuating definitions of family and friendship, with wit, compassion and grace, paying attention to geographical place and historical moment. In a small New England town a gay man and his lesbian friend explore varieties of sexual intimacy; a brother and sister reunite in Seattle to conduct an idiosyncratic memorial service for their father; a woman contemplates the family farm, located in the middle of contemporary San Francisco.

 


The Low Road cover
THE
LOW ROAD
(cross-genre narrative)
East Lansing: Michigan
State University Press

2002 259 pages
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Featured Excerpt: “This is the story I have been writing for my whole life. With my life. This is the story I will never know well enough to write. The Low Road is about location and dislocation in a large, poor Scottish family.My family. Over the years I discovered thirteen of my mother’s siblings while collecting memories and secrets from Aunt Bella in British Columbia, Aunt Chrissie in Toronto, Uncle Johnny in Fife, Uncle Colin on the south coast of Australia. During the last thirty years, at first unconsciously and then intentionally, I pieced together a story.”

 


Range of Light cover
RANGE
OF LIGHT
(novel)
Cambridge: Zoland Press
1998; Open Road Media, 2014.
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“Range of Light is Valerie Miner’s most skillful novel yet. Her exploration of the dynamics between two friends is subtle, profoundly moving, and true. Miner’s stunning descriptions of these mountains map a mysterious upland world. It made me want to buy some hiking boots and get going!” — Lisa Alther

“Shaped by the rhythms of a walk through nature, this gentle, thoughtful novel explores what’s too often ignored: the life-long bonds of women’s friendship.”— Andrea Barrett

 


A Walking Fire cover
A
WALKING FIRE
(novel)
Albany: State University
of New York Press

1994 254 pages
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“A Walking Fire is very likely Valerie Miner’s best novel thus far. It is thoroughly believable, densely layered, and expertly told…Suspense builds as we yearn to find Cora’s missing links. And Miner knows how much to reveal and at what point. It’s an interesting and exhaustive trip. If peace is not made between Cora and all of her family, at least Cora is able to make some peace with herself, which is maybe what this journey is all about.” — Sojourner

 


Rumors from the Cauldron cover
RUMORS
FROM THE CAULDRON:
Selected Essays, Reviews, and Reportage
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press
1992 281 pages; Open Road Media, 2014.
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“It is a brilliant volume, one that challenges the notion that ‘trendy’ equals ‘excellent,’ that affirms there is a connection between lesbianism and feminism, but that the connection is by no means simple and identical. Above all, she shows a mind that is subtle and far reaching.” — Lambda Book Report

“[Miner] coveys a more active and hopeful understanding, and practice, of ‘collectivity’ in the women’s movement than anyone I know today…The strengths of Rumors from the Cauldron lie in its contributions to the conversations we have informally and in print about feminism – where we have come from, who we have been, where we are going, and who’s the we?”  Women’s Review of Books

 


Trespassing cover
TRESPASSING
AND OTHER STORIES
London: Methuen; Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1989. East Lansing: Michigan
State University Press
, 2003, 239 pages.
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“I have come to depend on Valerie Miner as an uncommonly honest novelist: humorous, acute, and kind. In Trespassing her writing attains a new beauty and intensity.”  Ursula K. Le Guin

“Polished, sincere, thought provoking, and compelling. These stories may change the way some readers look at the world and their own relationships. The short story can do no more.”   Ian Rankin

 


All Good Women cover
ALL
GOOD WOMEN
(novel)
London: Methuen; Freedom, CA: Crossing Press
1987 464 pages; Open Road Media, 2014.
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“With laudable perceptiveness, Miner probes issues that are as relevant today as they were forty years ago: the rampant bigotry that deprives Wanda of her father and her liberty; Moira’s uncertain sexual orientation; Ann’s wariness of commitment; and Teddy’s adjustment to her own homosexuality. The novel’s rewarding conclusion also has contemporary overtones, for the women’s hard-won ‘shared sense of potential’ finally guides them safely beyond ‘anguish and loss’ to equanimity.” — Los Angeles Times

“An extraordinary tale of women in wartime. Most novels set in the ‘40s are about men fighting World War II. This one is unique in that the protagonists are four young women.” — San Jose Mercury News

 


Winter's Edge cover
WINTER’S
EDGE
(novel)
London: Methuen, 1984; Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press, 1985; New York: Feminist
Press
, 1997.184 pages —. (In German translation.) An der Schwelle zum Winter. Munich: Droemersche Verlagsantalt, 1988.
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“Valerie Miner is an author of reach, audacity, range, uniquely important to understanding our time. In Winter’s Edge she again enlarges the scope of contemporary fiction. A poet of the city, the everyday urban life, she gives us its beat, its struggling human beings, its worklife, its politics, its interrelationships; best of all, its old women on the edge of survival. A U.S.A. seldom portrayed.”  Tillie Olsen

 


Murder in the English Department cover
MURDER
IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
(novel)
London: Women’s Press, 1982; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1983; Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1985; London: Methuen, 1988. 169 pages; Open Road Media, 2014.
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“Valerie Miner’s characterization of professors is a merciless delight.” — Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle


” … a totally compelling and utterly modern mystery, the ‘mystery’ of how women go about fighting back against sexual abuse and division. A sparkling, hope-giving book.” — Judy Grahn, author of The Work of a Common Woman

 


Movement cover
MOVEMENT, A NOVEL IN STORIES
New York: Crossing Press, 1982; London: Methuen, 1985. 193 pages; Open Road Media, 2014.
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“I liked the form of Movement very much – it is indeed a novel of movement, political, personal movement from country to country and subculture to subculture…vignettes and stories out of Susan’s life, but never episodic, always carrying her development as a person and as a political personage a step farther.” — Marge Piercy

“This is a compelling book, invigorated by Susan’s idealism and enthused with her deep passion for life.”— Publishers Weekly

 


Blood Sisters cover
BLOOD
SISTERS
(novel)
London: Women’s Press, 1981; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982; London: Methuen, 1988; East Lansing: Michigan
State University Press
, 2003. 206 pages.—. (In Danish translation.) Blodsostre. Copenhagen: Hekla, 1984.
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“Valerie Miner’s fiction is like an arrow shot dead into the essence of the lives of working-class women. Her well-crafted prose is clean, direct, and honest. She tells the truth.”  Jana Harris, poet and novelist

“Seldom has a contemporary writer portrayed commitment in such an absorbing voice.
Miner has written a novel of such substance that it makes most of the fiction on the bestseller list melt into banality.”  Pacific Sun

“Blood Sisters is political fiction at its best … ” — the New Women’s Feminist Review

 


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