"Leesa Cross-Smith writes the way many people wish they could: ferociously, tenderly, and with a tremendous amount of heart. The stories contained in So We Can Glow showcase the very best of Cross-Smith's voice. They stick with readers long after the book is closed. This collection is tantalizing and Cross-Smith is a delight."—Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things
"The magic of So We Can Glow is that no matter who you are, no matter your circumstances, no matter your gender identity, when reading this book you become the girls and women in these pages. You hope their hopes, dream their dreams, fantasize and love alongside them. Leesa Cross-Smith is some sort of sorceress."—Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections and The World Doesn't Require You
"I so admire these stirring, sexy, haunting stories about the darkest corners of women's inner lives. A treat for the soul and the senses, and funny too. Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful storyteller."—Alexia Arthurs, award-winning author of How to Love a Jamaican
"So We Can Glow is precise and yearning in all the right ways. Cross-Smith understands sex and lust and love and all the ways they can get crossed up. Inventive in form, drifting from poetry to prose to script to smartphone text to receipt, Cross-Smith explores our affections, how they flourish or, more often, unravel, and her writing delivers this wisdom with blunt honesty and sex appeal to spare. It brings into existence secrets we didn't even know we had."—JM Holmes, award-winning author of How Are You Going to Save Yourself
"These stories, brief but dense with emotion, will make you feel like you're falling in love -- again and again and again. They drop the reader into moments that feel soaked with longing, like strawberries in champagne. Through Cross-Smith's characters, we experience the messiness, the ache, but mostly the glory of female desire."—Amy Bonnaffons, author of The Regrets and The Wrong Heaven
"Different as they are, all the stories focus on the strange hearts of women and girls -- brave and broken, longing and loving -- and weave together to create this structurally playful and lyrically rich second collection."—The Millions, "Most Anticipated: The Great First Half 2020 Book Preview"
"Examines -- and delights in -- female obsession and desire . . . nodding to the complicated, indelible bonds between women."—Buzzfeed, "The Most Anticipated Books of 2020"
"[A] rich collection . . . follows women exploring desire, desperation, and despair. The brief opener, 'We, Moons,' an explosion of slam cadence, serves as a battle hymn of self-determination and sisterhood that thematically unites the subsequent narratives . . . The delightfully idiosyncratic prose distinguishes each of the narrator's points of view within common themes of love, friendship, sex, and loyalty. These stories showcase the wide range of Cross-Smith's talent."—Publishers Weekly
"A multifaceted picture of female desire."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The stories . . . feature vivid sensory detail; the author has a gift for describing smells in particular and using them to conjure emotion...the language is rich and the sentiment fresh . . . brilliant writing and insight."—Kirkus Reviews
"Leesa Cross-Smith is a consummate storyteller who uses her formidable talents to tell the oft-overlooked stories of people living in that great swath of place between the left and right coasts . . . Where she is most stunning is in the endings . . . creating crisp, evocative moments that will linger long after you've read this book's very last word."—Roxane Gay (praise for Every Kiss A War)
"A melodic debut . . . nuanced."—O, The Oprah Magazine, "Top Books of Summer" (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)
"Cross-Smith's thrilling debut novel, Whiskey and Ribbons, is as immediate and compelling as music. Her three lovers tell their stories, each turning over what we think we know, creating a moving triptych on love, desire, and grief, and the unexpected families life makes for us."—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)
"Beautiful and brutal, a gut-punch and a poem--I love this book. I love its characters, their complicated tangle of desire and grief. I love its craft, the back and forth dance between memory and possibility. I found myself talking aloud to Evangeline: Let go, I whispered. Or maybe she whispered it to me. I don't know. She's inside of me now, my head and my heart. I'll tell you what: Cross-Smith is a master."—Megan Stielstra, author of The Wrong Way to Save Your Life (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)
"What a gorgeous, warm love story that is also a story about friendship and family and faith. I couldn't put this book down and was rooting so hard for Dalton and Evi and Frances and Cassidy and Eamon. This is a multi-layered, romantic, sexy, sad story. Just one hell of a satisfying read and though, in many ways, this story begins at the end, there are many wonderful, poignant surprises to be found in this novel."—Roxane Gay (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)
"Leesa Cross-Smith's Whiskey & Ribbons is an unforgettable debut. The death of a police officer is at the heart of this powerful, moving polyphonic saga, and the stunning lyricism of the style only matches the heartbreaking poetry of its substance. Cross-Smith examines lovers, brothers, mothers, fathers and sons with such mammoth empathy that this is one of those books I find essential for making sense of our world today."—Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects (praise for Whiskey & Ribbons)