"Thomas writes in a musical, incantatory style that approaches poetry . . . Thomas takes extraordinary care with syntax to let queer characters fully express themselves on the page. It’s almost as if Thomas needed to create a new language to tell these stories; ours is still too binary." —Claire Oshetsky, The New York Times Book Review
"By projecting their characters desires’ onto sketches of historical figures, Thomas has created their own archive . . . They remind us how the past was once the present, open to all possibilities until one choice flooded the horizon." —Grace Byron, The A.V. Club
"Thomas’ breathtaking prose sings while somehow also being precise and measured. More than once while reading, I gasped . . . More than once, I was angry at Thomas for being so talented, jealous that I’d never write fiction this well, disappointed that there weren’t 25 more stories to read. More than once, I was moved to tears." —Abeni Jones, Autostraddle
"At once fantastical and yet utterly true . . . the stories here pack a combined punch of entrancing prose examining gender, history, obsession, race, bodies, and all the mysteries within these words." —Sarah Neilson, Shondaland
"Comic and melancholy, Thomas’ debut collection is about people preoccupied with their inchoate desires, wanting to feel a sense of arrival with no fixed destination." —Michelle Hart, Electric Literature
"Each story touches on the mundane struggles people face, exploring what it’s like to be an outsider. They manage to zero in on the gender-facet of identity taken for granted by many cis people. The voices here feel new and unheard of, unheard from." —Konstantin Rega, Southern Review of Books
"Glittering . . . Thomas’s rich storytelling . . . lies less in the specificity of gender identities, but more in how they journey towards their own self-understanding." —Lauren Carpenter, Virginia Living
"Though the nine stories within [Manywhere] are not linked in character or plot, they are woven from the same cloth. Combining astute research, invention, and an endlessly imaginative inquisitiveness, taken together they create a rich tapestry of stories, each with its own vivid threadwork . . . Throughout the collection, Thomas asserts themself as a writer of thematic breadth and imaginative depth. The writing, too, is consistently impressive: acerbic dialogue sits side by side with lyrical passages that almost read as prose poems." —Giancarlo Latta, Chicago Review of Books
"Keen and coruscating . . . every story [in Manywhere] feels essential . . . Thomas writes with a beautiful command of syntax and cadence, their sentences accruing with a propulsive energy into stories whose tones feel exciting and urgent." —Kathleen Rooney, LIBER
"The characters in these stories feel fully alive; they reveal their rich and endlessly vibrant interiors through indefatigable exploration and textured thoughts. As inventive as some of Thomas’ storytelling decisions can be, they are never precious or self-indulgent but serve to cast light on the characters’ complex and ever shifting desires. Innovative stories that probe the ineluctable bond between storytelling and identity." —Kirkus (starred review)
"[A] visionary and keenly observed debut . . . Throughout, Thomas renders their characters’ explorations in rhythmic litanies . . . [Thomas] profoundly illuminates how the characters come by the stories they tell and those they choose to tell themselves." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Profound . . . In nine remarkable stories, Thomas adamantly and sublimely commits four centuries of the genderqueer/trans existence to the page . . . Theirs is an unpredictable perspective, ready to illuminate and beguile readers." —Shelf Awareness
"Wonderful stories. Impressive range. Delightfully, compellingly queer." —Roxane Gay (via Goodreads)
"Each of the stories in Manywhere is so surprising, with such range. A gorgeous chorus of voices joining to sing the vision of a singular and exciting artist." —Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
“Sparkling, imaginative, and inventive, these stories powerfully honor the lives of people attempting to do something that is as difficult as it is profound: to live according to their own essential rhythms, to the longings of their true, authentic selves. Rich in beauty and insight, and generous in spirit, this work feels genuinely, thrillingly new.” –Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
“Morgan Thomas is an artist of landscape, from the humid peculiarities of the American South, to the bodies and imaginations of these urgent, searching characters. I was awed by the kinetic, alive, innovative, and spell-casting stories in Manywhere, a debut collection that reads like an magnum opus.” —Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears
"Each story here is a gem, glimmering and precious to behold, but gathered together, Manywhere is a profusion of diamonds. The book is very queer, very well-written, and very goddamn good. Morgan Thomas is a wildly talented writer and Manywhere is a knockout." —Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth
"Manywhere is a kaleidoscopic collection that imagines queer pasts, presents, and futures with empathy, transformative language, and brilliant craft. Each story contains an expansive sense of history, place, and possibility. Morgan Thomas' innovative storytelling creates queer lineages and a stunning plurality of voices, showing us that a collection can also be a community." —K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary
"A riveting collection of stories . . . I am particularly drawn to Thomas’s exploration of desire and belonging, and the immersive spaces (physical, historical, psychological) their characters move through." —Elinam Agbo, Kenyon Review
Nine stories about queer, genderqueer, and trans characters seeking insight and actualization.
The characters in Thomas’ debut story collection, as different and sui generis as they are, are all seekers, whether sifting through archives for any echoes of themselves in the historical record or reinventing themselves by way of elaborate, sometimes convoluted forms of self-mythologizing. For instance, “Taylor Johnson’s Lightning Man,” the opening story, follows Taylor, a young person on a mission to discover anything they can about Frank Woodhull, a woman who came to Ellis Island dressed in men’s clothing and went on to peddle lightning rods, and with whom Taylor uncannily identifies. “The Daring Life of Philippa Cook the Rogue” is told through contemporary emails and historical documents, all inquiring into the figure of Philippa Cook, a member of the Jamestown colony who historians agree was intersex. Shoo Caddick, the author of the emails, is an actor who's convinced that they're "a sort of reincarnation" of Philippa. Stories like “Bump” and “Transit,” on the other hand, introduce characters who reinvent themselves via misunderstandings that often veer toward the uncanny or absurd. In “Transit,” a nonbinary teenager riding a train home from an eating-disorder clinic inadvertently convinces a fellow passenger that they’re a vampire. “Bump,” one of the collection’s most compelling stories, follows a trans woman’s relationship with an artificial baby belly, a co-dependency that develops as her polyamorous partner and his wife get pregnant. The characters in these stories feel fully alive; they reveal their rich and endlessly vibrant interiors through indefatigable exploration and textured thoughts. As inventive as some of Thomas’ storytelling decisions can be, they are never precious or self-indulgent but serve to cast light on the characters’ complex and ever shifting desires.
Innovative stories that probe the ineluctable bond between storytelling and identity.