Cloud Diary (Paperback)
In the world lovers create for themselves, it’s the simple images and quiet gestures that linger in memory. A silent moment together on a bench, a hand loose upon a table, a voice carried across a crowded room.
Doug is quiet and aimless when he meets Sophie, an extravagant, excitable artist. They live together on box wine, ramen and peanut butter until their world is fractured by violence. Eight years later, they rediscover each other as Sophie approaches a startling decision.
Cloud Diary is Doug’s story about Sophie and the shattering, transformative nature of intimacy. In considering the ways our histories can both scar and rescue us, it reminds us that the past is never simply the past.
About the Author
Steve Mitchell is a winner of the Curt Johnson Prose Prize, judged by Lily King, the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Prize, and the Association of Alternative Media’s 2017 Award for Best LGBT Coverage (with Deonna Kelli Sayed). His short stories and essays have been featured in december magazine, the Southeast Review, Red Fez, Contrary, the North Carolina Literary Review, and others. His short story collection, The Naming of Ghosts, is published by Press 53. He has a deep belief in the primacy of doubt and an abiding conviction that great wisdom informs very bad movies. He’s co-owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC, where he lives with his partner, Deonna Kelli Sayed, a writer, and Zip, a cat.
A delightful and accomplished novel. Cloud Diary is a winning blend of metaphysics and box wine, of sticky-floored dive bars and lofty artistic passions. Steve Mitchell renders love and mortality with precision and without sentimentality. Nuanced and compassionate, Cloud Diary is a tribute to the ever presence of the past, and how it might help us become whole.”
-Michael Parker, The Watery Part of the World, Everything Then and Since
“A beautiful, bittersweet novel about first love—how it forms us, how it settles in us and lingers, consoling us even to the end of our days.”
-Kim Church, Byrd
“With his spare, delicate sentences and poignant observations, Steve Mitchell takes us deep into his characters, and, in turn, into ourselves—into our own past loves and romantic longings. This story of Doug and Sophie is more than just the experience of being in love—it’s about the deep roots and long tendrils that love can leave for all of us. Cloud Diary is a powerful story that is both beautifully crafted and deeply felt. Holy fuck, I love this book so.”
-Frances Badgett, Contrary Magazine
“Doug, whose narration and innermost thoughts make up Cloud Diary, is haunted, or perhaps blessed, by memories. Once you’ve read Doug’s story, you, too, will catch yourself, at odd moments, thinking about his experiences and his reflections on what they mean. Cloud Diary is a book that will stay with you.”
– Linda Brinson, Greensboro News and Record