Small Girl

Praise for Small Girl: Micromemoirs (forthcoming from Harbor Editions, May 2024) 

Carla & Donald Coutley, circa 1978

This Small Girl is a brilliant study in perspective. Through the voice of a child, we are introduced to the harrowing reality of domestic violence and alcoholism—the way the imagination contorts and blossoms under the stress of dysfunction, and how each of us carries a tough and tender child inside us, aching to understand what she has known. Each gorgeous and heartbreaking flash essay cements into place another fragment of the personal story, the familial story, and the broader cultural inheritance, until we can clearly see the whole mosaic of suffering and love. This is a work to read many times.
Danielle Cadena Deulen, author of Desire Museum

These fifteen linked micro-memoirs imbed us in the mind of a child learning to understand her world—but the world she navigates is trip-wired by violence and trauma. We follow chronologically as she moves from fearing the witches under her bed to stealing her stepfather’s pot to fully inhabiting her inheritance of anger. Ultimately, however, Coutley’s journey reminds us that, with great effort, anger can be relinquished. Small Girl is a narrative of that triumphant, hard-working muscle, the human heart.
Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs, W.W. Norton

Gut-wrenching and beautiful. Small Girl provides a series of vibrant and unflinching snapshots as a girl-child learns to navigate the female body in a world of men and other sharp objects. Lisa Fay Coutley’s stunning collection is both achingly her own and hauntingly familiar.
Sonja Livingston, Ghostbread


Micros from Small Girl

Brevity–Midnight Baseball” 
The Cincinnati Review–Honeycomb
The Hunger–“Some Nights” & “Gone