Deal, Janice



The Sound of Rabbits tells the story of Ruby, a bright woman with a love of music who thought that leaving the small town where she grew up would ensure her happiness. But her life in Chicago is not going the way she’d planned. At 41, she’s drifted away from music, and a long-term relationship with a boyfriend has ended badly. Everything changes with one phone call from her sister, Val, who cares for their mother, Barbara, in the hardscrabble Midwestern town where Ruby grew up. Ruby returns to confront some harsh truths about her family and herself as she tries to find meaning in her mother’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. Written as an homage to the classic archetype of the Hero’s Journey, The Sound of Rabbits relies on different points of view to explore themes of change and death, and considers the role that the past—and acceptance of that past—can play in one’s current and future happiness.


Janice Deal is the author of the short story collection The Decline of Pigeons, a finalist in the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and Strange Attractors, a cycle of linked stories. Her stories have won the Moth Short Story Prize and Cagibi Macaron Prize for fiction, and have appeared in publications including Fiction, Harvard Review Online, The Sun, Emrys Journal, Ontario Review, and Zone 3. The Sound of Rabbits is her first novel.