Pub date: Fall 2018
In You and Me, Belonging, Aaron Kreuter explores our contemporary world with insight, originality, and empathy. The stories in this debut collection are brimming with characters striving to fit in, to find their place in the world, to belong. A Jewish waitress has an affair with a Palestinian chef. A one-percenter self-destructs when he becomes obsessed with mastering the guitar. A university student stoned in Amsterdam hallucinates about Anne Frank on Birthright Israel. In the closing novella, a vanful of young women follows a fictional jam band across America, steeping in counterculture, music, and the ups and downs of the road. The collection is satiric and emotional, angry and hopeful, passionate and surprising. Like a wedding speech gone off the rails, like the best improvised music, You and and Me, Belonging takes readers to some unexpected places.
“You and Me, Belonging is a dazzling debut. Sexy, biting, and sharp. Kreuter’s prose is swift and clean. These stories are slyly funny while delivering a sucker punch to the heart. They are full of adventures and dashed dreams, art, sex, desire, and brawn. Brilliant.” —Lisa Moore, author of Caught
“In You and Me, Belonging, Aaron Kreuter captures our universal quest for belonging and meaning with great compassion and nuance. Told from a range of viewpoints, and spanning continents and decades, these beautifully conceived stories are at once boldly political and fiercely personal, and explore what it means to be young, Jewish, and North American in a messy, complex, and conflicted world.” —Ayelet Tsabari, author of The Best Place on Earth
“In writing that crackles and smoulders and leaves you checking your pants for burn holes, Aaron Kreuter maps the veinwork of the Jewish Toronto experience. Swill a bottle of honey, get haunted by Anne Frank, ride a waterslide into the unknown. On the surface, these are stories about suburbs and movie theatres, jam bands and A/V kingpins—beneath it all there’s a riptide of hectic passion and desperate intimacy. You and Me, Belonging steals beauty from wreckage, stashes love in all the right places.” —David Huebert, author of Peninsula Sinking
“Aaron Kreuter’s new collection is fresh and exciting. His enthusiasm for his characters and their stories draws the reader in and beckons continuation page after page. His descriptions are colorful; his dialogue is realistic. Kreuter really captures the whole jamband scene—our feelings, our joys, and our difficulties.” —Christy Articola, editor and publisher, Surrender to the Flow
“Outstanding debut collection of short stories. Kreuter quickly and powerfully establishes character, motivation and obstacle and draws the reader in towards the struggles of the respective protagonists… definitely one to read.” —Mira Sucharov, Canadian Jewish News
“Vivid stories full of various places and experiences that rise up off the page and touch ever so gently, the reader’s heart and mind.”—The Miramichi Reader
Aaron Kreuter writes poetry and fiction. He is the author of the poetry collection Arguments for Lawn Chairs. His work has appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals, including Best Canadian Poetry, Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Anthology, the Puritan, Grain Magazine, and the Temz Review. You and Me, Belonging is his first book of fiction. He lives in Toronto.