Where Can I Take You When There's Nowhere to Go

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In Joe Baumann's newest collection Where Can I Take You When There's Nowhere To Go, queer men explore their sense of who they are and what they want, often in worlds that are tilted askew from what we might expect.

Thirteen surreal short stories utilize the strange and the bizarre as a backdrop for explorations of loneliness, queer coming-of-age, self-discovery, and loss. In "We Adore These Bodies Until They Are Gone," people evaporate when suffering isolation and directionless; in "Happy Birthdays," characters transform into different ages when they consume particular kinds of cake; and in the titular story, a pair of lonely teenagers come together at a party after one of them gifts the other with a small cloud he has spun out of his own hands.

Baumann's tender vignettes of love, anger, grief, and desire are a stunning ode to the places and people that can give us solace within an absurd and chaotic world.

About the Author

Joe Baumann is the author of three collections of short fiction: Sing With Me at the Edge of Paradise, The Plagues, and Hot Lips. His fiction and essays have appeared in Third Coast, Passages North, Phantom Drift, and many others. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He was a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction. His debut novel, I Know You're Out There Somewhere, is forthcoming from Deep Hearts YA. He can be reached at joebaumann.wordpress.com.

"In his rich, beautiful
short story collection, Where Can I Take You When There's Nowhere To Go,
Joe Baumann accentuates the mysteries of human relationships with a skillful
and magical hand. Similar to the work of Aimee Bender and Judy Budnitz, Baumann
draws readers into intimate spaces, enabling personal connections through the
fantastical access he provides--the magical manifestations of grief and
loneliness, love and passion, trauma and shame, solidarity, individuality, and
the myriad modes of desire. Within this extraordinary collection, individuals
evaporate, conjure clouds, consume whole bodies, harbor additional hearts, and
produce blood that sings. Baumann's stories are layered with humor and heavy
with the challenges and triumphs of social and self-acceptance. Where Can I
Take You When There's Nowhere To Go
is as original as it is enjoyable to
read--a rare combination that should be savored and shared as widely as


-- Aaron Tillman, author of Consolation Miracles and Every
Single Bone in My Brain


"In Where Can I Take
You When There's Nowhere To Go
, Baumann uses the fantastic to represent
with heart-wrenching precision those 'tangling feelings' that threaten to
destroy his characters. Some evaporate, some sprout roots on their heads, some
change into mirrors, and some create clouds with their fingers--not by accident
or scientific experiment but because these are phenomena in their worlds that
transform and express raw human emotion with determined and sometimes
redemptive clarity. Reading this collection means apprehending again and again
the hunger of despair, the miracle of love."

-- Maria Brandt, author
of All the Words

Publisher: BOA Editions
Pub date: October 24, 2023
240 pages
Format: Paperback