The Reach of a Root

The Reach of a Root


Laura Tansley and Micaela Maftei

Pages: 174
ISBN: 978-1-908251-93-0
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm
Publication: 26 September 2019*

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Power stances in loo cubicles; heartfelt letters from a stranger’s parents; clairvoyant coffee shop customers; awkward post-threesome encounters...

In this collection of short stories, Canada-based Micaela Maftei and UK-based Laura Tansley collaborate transatlantically to craft a single, blended voice; both in form and content, their stories consider place, displacement and the spaces where the two overlap. With insight and humour the authors map the ongoing search for selfhood across various stages and settings of women’s lives, magnifying the mundane to remind us that life is made up of the tiny details we often overlook. The Reach of a Root speaks to life’s anxieties, triumphs and trials, fusing Colin Barrett’s exploration of place and identity, the dark humour of Amy Hempel and the physicality of Joyce Carol Oates.


“An intriguing and barbed collection, tuned to the prickly undercurrents and cool, disquieting notes of urban life.” – Laura Waddell (Nasty Women)

“The Reach of a Root is a meeting of minds and, much more than that, a mingling of voices, a new and daring collaboration between two storytellers. Laura Tansley and Micaela Maftei venture where few have gone before, forging an indivisible authorial self in addition to their individual achievements as gifted writers. Full of vivid detail – a mint in the mouth, a creased map, a glance across a wine glass – these stories show us that no one is ordinary, and nothing is really as it seems.” – Ailsa Cox (Writing Short Stories)

The Reach of a Root is a compelling, fascinating collection, with strangeness and surprise along the way. These stories question, make us hold our breath as we search for answers, and unsettle as well as ensnare. In cities, restaurants and bedrooms, we follow the characters as they search for something more, something else. The voices here are woven seamlessly, and the real wonder is in how this has been achieved.” – Holly Howitt-Dring (Dinner Time and Other Stories)