Coldwater Canyon (Civil Coping Mechanisms)
Shep has been dealt a bad hand in life. Halfheartedly raised by a cold grandmother and chronically ill following his deployment in Desert Storm, he self-medicates with alcohol and daydreams of salvation at the hands of women—ultimately landing on one woman in particular: Lila, the young actress he believes is his daughter despite all evidence to the contrary. As Shep navigates the mystically rendered streets and strip malls of the San Fernando Valley with his only companion, his dog Lionel, he takes increasingly desperate measures to insinuate himself into her life. Kinney’s precise and considered prose examines the insistence on reshaping the past through the lens of one’s own trauma and conceived desires as a means of moving forward. Why do we so often look for solace and redemption through others, pushing ourselves to do anything for them, even when it harms everyone involved?
Praise for Coldwater Canyon
"Hot, gritty, swirling, hypnotic and sensual… an unhinged, sweetly sinister sun-baked noir; all danger, doomed love, and compassion."—Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying
"A stunning journey through the hard-beating heart of a California everyone needs to see and know, and now they can through Anne-Marie Kinney’s evocative, heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious novel. Her landscape is singular, and her voice a welcome new addition to American fiction. I loved this book – and the people, and dog, in it."—Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon and Between Heaven and Here
"Kinney’s beautiful writing propels this story of a traumatized Nebraska man navigating the diffuse loneliness of Los Angeles. Coldwater Canyon is haunting."—J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Anne-Marie Kinney is the author of two novels, Radio Iris (2012, Two Dollar Radio) and Coldwater Canyon(forthcoming from CCM in 2018). A New York Times Editor’s Choice pick, Radio Iris was called “a spiky debut” and “‘The Office’ as scripted by Kafka” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Her shorter work has been published in journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, The Rattling Wall, The Collagist, Fanzine and Black Clock, for which she also served as Production Editor from 2011-2016. She lives in Los Angeles, where she co-curates the Griffith Park Storytelling Series.
Anthony Miller is a writer, critic, and independent scholar. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, LA Weekly, Los Angeles CityBeat, Poets & Writers, HiLobrow, and Black Clock, where he was editor-at-large.