A Little Family

Consisting of both new and previously published prose, this collection is available from Spuyten Duyvil Press. “Pieces like paintings in words—complex images, frozen in time, deep, beautiful, poetic.”

Order here: A Little Family


At once evanescent as life itself and beautifully precise, these are remarkably fluid pieces that have both the advantages of fiction and of prose poetry. They lull you, and then surprise you, moving subtly in unexpected directions.
—Brian Evenson

Kathryn Rantala’s short pieces are marked by a quiet yet insistent tenacity, a precision of language and vision that make the tiniest details of this journey numinous and profound.
—Dawn Raffel

In A Little Family, quiet scenes open with intricate details and anecdotes then expand into unexpected vistas. Something as simple as a walk to a movie may dissolve into the void or open up to the whole earth, the whole universe. These stories are exponentially bigger than they look, and stun with stealthy grace.
—Angela Woodward


Across from my house, the promenade dividing the pavement of Ravenna Boulevard is green with grass and trees but also with unusual expanse, the designer perhaps bewildered by a concurrent rise and bend going forward and thinking this meant to add space. The old trees are deciduous, their leaves early on the route to being something else as, on that morning, from my window, what I see before me is not a boulevard but a glade.

Then, as so often, there is a solitary man walking the promenade. I name him Edouard, for the Merwin poem published in the New Yorker on my birthday—Edouard shall we have gone when the leaves come out—but no, it is the Dalai Lama, far from home, wakeful before studies. The street is still asleep. The grass is wide here, wider uphill. I am behind a glass and on my way to becoming mute. Gifts are uncertain and the soul a small bell.

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