Aurelie Sheehan writes eerie legends, intimate stories, and beguiling personal confessions that chase after the bottomless mystery inside our everyday lives. These are fictions stamped with truth, or they are true accounts suffused with the clear magic of fiction, crafted by a writer who is a gifted and lyrical seer, shrewdly attuned to what is most worth calling out from our complicated and contested reality.
Once into the Night
Winner of FC2’s Catherine L. Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize
Stories that explore the potent and captivating boundaries between the real and the imaginary.
Aurelie Sheehan’s Once into the Night is a collection of 57 brief stories—a fictional autobiography made of assumed identities and what-ifs. What is the difference between fiction and a lie? These stories dwell in a netherworld between memory and the imagination, exploring the nature of truthtelling.
Here the inner life is granted pride of place with authenticity found in misremembered childhood notebooks, invisible tattoos, and the love life of icemen. Radical in its conception of story, this collection blurs the line between fiction, poetry, and essay, reconceiving contemporary autofiction in its own witty, poignant vernacular. The stories intersect with and deviate from a “provable” life—a twin distinction that becomes the source of their power.
Aurelie Sheehan must have gotten her poetic prose license at an elusive shop of glittering perceptions. Her enchantingly quirky, surprise-a-millisecond chapters are fabulous—I wished to go Two, Three, Many more times into the Night, but, alas, these original micro-stories of fables, foibles, and family ended quickly. Please pick them up where I left off, wishing to read them again. How did she do it? Aurelie Sheehan made Oscar Wilde wake Calvino with a start and a glass of bubbly—not in her book, but no kidding, Once into the Night propelled me with its witty, associative voice into a cosmos of magic and memory that I haven’t experienced since those guys woke me with a start and a glass of…
With a casual and wounding intelligence presiding over every story, Once into the Night feels like a seance of emotions that you’re sometimes embarrassed to be feeling, sometimes can’t wait to feel again, and sometimes feel relieved to know that you can.