Carissa Halston is the author of A Girl Named Charlie Lester and The Mere Weight of Words. Her short fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in TRNSFR, The Collagist, and The Massachusetts Review, among others. She currently lives in Boston where she edits a literary journal called apt, hosts a reading series called Literary Firsts, and is at work on a novel called Conjoined States.
The Mere Weight of Words...
When Meredith initially hears that her estranged father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she says nothing. When Eliot, a long-time friend of her father’s, calls and asks her to see him, she hangs up. But once she runs out of ways to say no, Mere agrees to visit, reasoning that he’ll soon lose all memory of their estrangement. He’ll forget about her paralysis. He’ll forget about their fights. He’ll forget that he ever stopped loving her mother and be the person Mere adored. She leaves her house certain she’ll say something she can’t take back and arrives at his knowing he’ll someday forget she visited at all. In language honest and heartfelt, Carissa Halston presents Mere’s life with and without her father, and how Mere fills his absence with worry, wit, and words.
About the Novel: A linguist grapples with the reinvention of her career after suffering from facial palsy, then the reinvention of herself when faced with the potential loss of her father, from whom she's been estranged for nearly twenty years. The Mere Weight of Words is full of pleasant surprises and packs a punch, with language that catches the reader unaware.
Carissa Halston’s deeply felt tale of fathers and daughters brings us up against the limits of language. Halston’s tough-minded tenderness is sharp-tongued and subtle and the svelte vigor of her prose is sure to move her readers to countless moments of recognition and ahas. — Askold Melnyczuk, author of What is Told, Ambassador of the Dead, and The House of Widows
The Mere Weight of Words is a sharp, smart novella about the difficulty of reinventing a career, a relationship, a family, a life. Read this book for its elegant, intelligent language, and its insights that aren't always comforting, but are always true. — Karl Iagnemma,
author of On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction and The Expeditions
The Mere Weight of Words paints a moving, insightful portrait of a difficult relationship between a father and daughter. It sheds light on what it means to be a child, even in adulthood, and tellingly reveals the vulnerabilities of its guarded protagonist. It also happens to be as funny as it is profound. — John Fulton, author of The Animal Girl