Patrick Stockwell’s The Light Here Changes Everything is the mesmerizing story of Sophie’s against-her-will attempt to throw open the blinds on her life. An in-recovery alcoholic, Sophie finds that after reaching one year of sobriety, the most important relationships in her life—with her hard-nosed AA sponsor, her problematic boyfriend, her dead father, and her sober and un-sober selves—flicker with shadows that are darker and deeper than she suspected. This is a powerful and emotionally layered debut from a writer with tremendous talent, patience, and grace. —Joseph Scapellato, author of The Made-Up Man and Big Lonesome
Every good story is a coming-of-age story; Patrick Stockwell’s The Light Here Changes Everything is no exception. Adulthood means abandoning certain romantic notions, and Sophie’s entrenchment in a kind of Western wild glamor — replete with bar brawls, road trips, guns and booze — shifts in the course of this utterly engaging novella. This character is funny and flawed and working hard at redemption in the lustrous harsh light of the real, rather than nostalgic, American west. —Antonya Nelson, author of Funny Once and Bound
Patrick Stockwell is a writer who knows how to tell a story. In The Light Here Changes Everything, he explores the powerful influence of personal relationships alongside the seductive dread of addiction. This is a story about trespass, about those who trespass against us, and how readily we trespass against ourselves. Stockwell’s writing is crisp, infused by a satisfying forward momentum, and punctuated by moments of elevated light. —Kurt Caswell, author of Laika’s Window: The Legacy of a Soviet Space Dog
Gorgeous, patient and electric. This is the kind of work that restructures the reader at the atomic level. Sophie finds herself on someone else’s daffy pilgrimage but damn it if she doesn’t find what she didn’t know she was looking for. Reminds you that self-destruction is the bastard cousin of self-creation. —David MacLean, author of The Answer to the Riddle is Me and How I Learned to Hate in Ohio.