praise for There
“Heather Rounds manages to make entirely everyone in her novel, There, rootless and adrift, whether that be her American protagonist or the various homelanders she meets on assignment in Kurdistan. No one—and certainly not the reader—escapes from a feeling of escape, of a gnawing tumble in space. Thing is, that feeling is so perfectly pitched, so well attuned through imagination and craft, that one feels the wheel of familiarity, a presence of home in homelessness.”
—Joseph Young, author of Easter Rabbit
“Rounds gives us her eyes and ears, jacks us up with the heightened receptivity of the traveler, and sets us down in Iraqi Kurdistan. With direct, economical prose, alive to its surroundings, she chronicles every contour of that space between wanderlust and the way a place actually turns out to be—and the way one turns out to be in it. There takes us all the way in, and on the way gives us a meditation on the poetics of self as a foreign body, on the accidental poetry of translation and strangeness, on the merry-go-round of subtle breakthroughs, approaches, and evasions; in short, the being there, and the being always destined to lose it all by going home.”
—Megan McShea, author of A Mountain City of Toad Splendor
"As an American writing about time spent in the Middle East, Rounds’ voice is mercifully free of the hubris and self-pride that infects many Western travelers. This story has been skimmed of Orientalist attitudes and biases; this is a rare protagonist whose eyes have not been clouded with self-righteous assumptions and expectations."
—Claire Luchette, Bustle