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The First Time She Fell

by Caleb Ludwick


In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a small city of the new American South, we find an unexpected world of haves and have nots, families and outsiders, old hatreds and first loves that unfold in eight imaginatively rendered stories. As these characters rush into circumstances where everything changes, we watch them make bad choices for good reasons, or good choices for bad reasons – with aftershocks that ripple through the lives of everyone around them.

Stark and funny, brutal and tender, Ludwick’s stories are rooted in hope, in human kindness, and an ability to find beauty everywhere. Originally the inspiration for an award-winning design collaboration, The First Time She Fell emerges on its own as an ambitious debut collection that is, in the words of one character, “as beautiful as the world is sharp as the world is sweet.”

Praise for The First Time She Fell

Winner of a PRINT magazine award for most creative project in the Southeast (1st edition).

“Ludwick’s stories don’t feel limited by an author’s hand, but open to change and consequence and the whims of the universe. In other words, they feel real. And in their plumbing the depths of the human soul – the child’s soul, the priest’s, the criminal’s – they remind us that ‘at heart, anyone is capable of anything.’ The First Time She Fell is surefooted and quietly sublime.”
– Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower

“Poignant meditations on the economic, religious and ethnic diversity that is the New South… even at their most brutal, these stories deliver beauty and promise through Ludwick’s sharp yet graceful prose and keen compassion for his characters.” – Sybil Baker, author of Into this World

“The real heavy hitters are Ludwick’s skillfully conceived characters and their lingering voices. You find yourself imagining the character’s moment of redemption… You hope. You cross your fingers.” – the Mountain Mirror

Watch the Book Trailer

The First Time She Fell | Book Trailer from Juncture on Vimeo.