Titles 1998-2018

If a Stranger Approaches You, Laura Kasischke


Laura Kasischke’s stories are populated by people coming to terms with a life that is just a little bit off—there’s a cooler of eyeballs in the backseat and a tiny mummified heart in the dresser drawer. Lucid and unsparing, Kasischke offers no detours around the mysteries of our own minds and motives. We’re right to be spooked.

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Additional Info

Laura Kasischke has published eight collections of poetry and eight novels. This is her first story collection. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, several Pushcart Prizes, and the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Space in Chains. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan, with her husband and son, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan.


“No wonder teenage life, on and off campus, seems to fit stories of vampires, ghosts, the undead. Laura Kasischke is hardly the first to use such figures (as fans of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ know) but with her new novel, The Raising, she pursues them almost perfectly. Almost a supernatural thriller, almost a campus satire and almost but not quite a coming-of-age tale, The Raising is also the best of Kasischke’s eight novels, the one with the broadest canvas, the most observation, its large cast arranged with a scary economy of detail.”

—Stephen Burt, The New York Times

“This is a doomsday book in the form of a finely observed domestic drama, showing how dysfunctional relationships shift and soften in response to the looming menace… The tone is supple enough to provide a fairy-tale frame (Jiselle even reads Hans Christian Andersen to Sam), flirt with romance-novel cliché (in describing Mark and Jiselle's globe-trotting courtship), sustain a science-fiction catastrophe setting and allow for jolts of deft satire.”

—Ed Park, The Los Angeles Times

 “Poet and novelist Kasischke finds beauty amid the apocalypse in her timely seventh novel… Kasischke's penchant for disconcerting but absorbing fiction is on display, as is her facility with language. Startling, sometimes violent images combine with strikingly dispassionate narration to create a fictional world where terror, beauty and chaos walk hand in hand.”

Publishers Weekly

“How does Laura Kasischke’s eighth novel, The Raising, throw so many darts at the dartboard of horror clichés and still wring out a shiver? By cross-breeding thrills with a commonplace college romance, producing above-average suspense from a too-familiar cast.”

—Ellen Wernecke, The A.V. Club 

“Laura Kasischke is a supremely talented writer deserving wider acclaim… This is a horror story created not of things that go bump, but of the mundane, making it even more unnerving.”

—Diane Leach, PopMatters