Hurricane Season (Sourcebooks, 2001) received Foreword’s Honorable Mention for best university/independent press short story collection of the year.
“Newcomer Karen Bjorneby strikes no compromises in her first collection of fiction, “Hurricane Season.” These bold, ambitious stories chart the emotional territory between men, women and God. Many, set in the South, bring to mind the work of Flannery O’Connor, with whom Bjorneby shares a sense for drama and a gimlet-dry wit. Touched by tragedies large and small, her characters struggle with faith and find that it is often in conflict with more earthy, urgent passions….Other stories, featuring younger characters, take place on military bases (Bjorneby is the daughter of a fighter pilot) and show children struggling to deal with a life of constant upheaval. Inevitably, some characters fare better than others, but all remain sympathetic despite their considerable flaws. Bjorneby rarely strikes a false note in this impressive debut: No story is less than interesting, and a few are real gems.”
Karen Bjorneby’s fiction and poetry have appeared in over two dozen publications including Threepenny Review, North American Review, StoryQuarterly, The Sun, New Letters, New Orleans Review, Confrontation, Passages North, and Puerto del Sol. Her story “War Games,” published in The Nebraska Review, received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention citation; “Panther in the Woods,” published in New Letters, received a National Magazine Award nomination; she has received two additional Pushcart nominations, and she was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference.
“Twelve taut, driven stories…. An impressive debut, full of crisp images, sparks and heat, but also essential human dignity.”