All of Your Most Private Places

All of Your Most Private Places

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Author: Meghan Lamb

Publisher: Spork Press (2020)

This debut collection by Meghan Lamb opens with the demolition of a building called the “Hi-Point”: with the “destruction [and] construction of an empty space.” From an uncanny “Atomic Museum” in the desert to a dying-off peepshow to a far-flung, falling apart hoarder house, these stories examine a series of spaces wherein external strangeness mirrors internal conflict. With quietly charged, unflinching prose, Lamb observes our “most private places”: the elusive, often unnameable accumulations with which we fill our emptiness.

“In All of Your Most Private Places, Meghan Lamb has written a new kind of fiction, and to read it is a new kind of experience. From the very first page of the very first story, everything—characters, objects, landscapes—begins to glow, flickering alluringly until it is all fully vivid, like a mirage that is at the same time real. Sometimes it feels as if they are in some way superimposed on each other, character and setting, for instance, and then they separate, languidly, solidly themselves. A captivating, mystical book.”

–Amina Cain

“In awe and admiration, I say now: Meghan Lamb is one of my favorite prose stylists. Spellbound, I read and reread All of Your Most Private Places, swept into her narrators’ tragic, furious, heartbreaking voices. Courageously bared, these stories could shatter you into shards, but the sentences, the sentences!—the care and confidence with which they were crafted and combinatorially constructed, their rhythms rising and singing, pitch perfect and thrilling—can will you back together again. Like Lamb’s characters, particularly the women, who must will themselves back together again.”

–Molly Gaudry

“Only Meghan Lamb could get me this close to the empty. Roving across landscapes and homes evacuated of feeling, the stories in All of Your Most Private Places are alive with raw nerve. Lamb captures dubious, uneasy intimacies with the exacting severity of Gaitskill and a radiance all her own. These taut, stunningly controlled tales pivot hypnotically between creeping dread and coldly gleaming light.”

–M. Milks

“The stories in Meghan Lamb’s All of Your Most Private Places are lonely explosions that leave behind craters, emptied of skeletons and desert bloom. I find myself addicted. Each sentence is a peep show—a girl opens her legs and everything natural is destroyed—I’ll pay for another ten minutes please, because, yes, I need to stay in her sublime.”

–Lily Hoang

“Bridging the gap between dirty realism of Diane Williams and the uncanny ambiance of Tarkovsky, Meghan Lamb’s All of Your Most Private Places is an astonishing debut, one that immediately defines her as a force of expectation-bending, deep psyche fiction, culled from the most intimate, oft-suppressed depths of who we are.”

–Blake Butler