A Chippewa Falls native is continuing to make waves in the literary world after a lifetime of liminal and transformative experiences.
Sandra Kaye Kruse was born and raised in Chippewa Falls and recently released her latest written offering, “Tales from the Liminal.” The collection of curious and delightful short stories detail how you never know who you’re going to meet or where you’re going to end up.
Using humor and horror, satire and allegory, fabulism and realism, “Tales from the Liminal” takes you for an extraordinary ride, submerging you in spaces where anything is possible, especially transformation during times of uncertainty, especially rites of passage.
“All the stories in the collection play in some way with liminality,” Kruse said. “Some do a deep dive. I first became intrigued with the idea of the liminal through my own experience of it—those situations, places, and encounters in our lives where we find ourselves betwixt and between. What fascinates me most about these experiences is that are often unwelcome at the onset but are later revealed to have been essential to some significant period of growth or point of understanding in our lives.”
After attending Catholic school for 12 years in the Chippewa Valley, in 1988 she left for Madison to earn her degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and launch her writing career. After her big debut in The Onion, however, she found herself on a 25-year sabbatical to raise 11 children.
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Since emerging from the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction period of her life, Kruse’s writing has been longlisted for the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction and has won multiple awards in the National League of American Pen Women’s “Soul-making Keats Literary Competition.”
Kruse said the inspiration for writing her latest book were the strange stories which she loved as a child, including Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.”
“I wanted to be a writer after discovering stories that made my heart palpitate and those stories were always the strange and existential ones,” Kruse said.
Now that the book is available for all to enjoy, Sandra said she hopes those read her latest work take something away from it, though she is sure everyone will take away something different from her work.
“Everyone gets something different out of a book and that’s probably the most amazing thing about reading,” Kruse said. “But if I get to wish-list some takeaways, I guess I might hope readers come away from it with an openness to the possibilities afforded by liminal situations, as well as the courage to let life do its transformational work during such times, however disquieting they might be.”
“Tales from the Liminal” is available now on skkruse.com. For more information on Kruse, you can visit her Facebook and Instagram pages @postmodernpilgrim.