In Our Rags of Light

I spent a year writing about the justifiable anger of teenage girls.

Most of that was in the novel that I’m currently shopping around (hey agents – call me!), but a lot of it ended up here, in a story that takes place in a very specific environment for teenage girls: the South. It’s the South of True Detective and True Blood, where “slutty” teen girls in cutoffs are seen but never heard. Where they’re set decoration. Where no one looks at them and wonders what their story is.

I look at them. I ask “why are you in this place with these men? what are you getting out of this?” And the answer here is “more than they can imagine”.

“In Our Rags of Light” was published in Strange Horizons in August 2016. It is on the 2016 Tangent Online recommended reading list.


Maria Haskins says: “Teenage girls practicing witchcraft: now there’s a trope that needs to be slashed open and turned inside out, and that is exactly what Shira Lipkin does in this story. I love how the story plays around with what’s “expected”, and makes into something new and different, and I especially love how complex (strong and foolish and clever, brittle and daring) the main character Jess is. A beautiful read that feels alive and real.”

Charles Payseur of Quick Sips Reviews says: “This is a story about growing up and about danger and about power. About magic and about a young woman named Jess who knows just a little about magic and warmth and finds herself drawn to it. I love the way the story draws parallels between her and a moth, that idea of magic as warmth, as fire, and her compelled to chase it. But at the same time having her reject the comparison because she is not doing so blindly….” (Please go read the whole review; it’s great! After you read the story.)


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