Our Dreams Might Align
Short stories by Dana Diehl
Two brothers, swallowed by a whale, lament the loneliness they suffer in the belly of the beast. A man is transformed into a beam of light; another travels through time whenever he falls asleep. Teenage girls prepare for an indistinct apocalypse; a schoolboy dissolves into a throng of toads; and intimate relationships are twisted out of shape by plagues of worms, by parasites, by the presence of mindbending, inhuman forces.
Across sixteen remarkable stories, Dana Diehl wanders the dreamscapes that unfold from those moments when everyday lives are warped by otherworldly experiences. Her journeys lead to places where the fabric of reality has frayed — where familiar things take on unsettling new meanings and menacing energies gather strength beyond the limits of the visible.
Dana Diehl is the author of Our Dreams Might Align and a chapbook, TV Girls, as well as the co-author, with Melissa Goodrich, of the short story collection The Classroom. Her work has appeared in numerous venues including Smokelong Quarterly, The Collagist, and Necessary Fiction. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. She can be found online at danadiehl.com and she tweets @Servestofurther.
Read stories from Our Dreams Might Align:
Read The Sanctuary, a brand new story by Dana Diehl published exclusively online at Splice.
Read a two-part interview with Dana Diehl about her inspirations and creative process.
Watch video of Dana Diehl reading from Our Dreams Might Alignand her follow-up chapbook, TV Girls, at Arizona State University.
Watch video of Dana Diehl and Melissa Goodrich reading from their collaborative project, The Classroom.
Praise for Dana Diehl
Dana Diehl employs a lyricism that makes everything feel as if it were happening in a dream. The breadth of possibility in this collection is enormous, and the prose is absolutely exquisite, each and every sentence tingling with a fire that refuses to quit burning. … [Our Dreams Might Align] is a collection that, because of its beauty and intricacies, warrants slowness and a savouring of every bite. [Diehl has a] marvellous ability to blend unique ideas, vibrant images, and a lyrical style.Jen Corrigan, The Coil
Gorgeous, moving, impressive. … One of the best collections I’ve read in ages.Scott Manley Hadley, Open Pen
Dana Diehl’s stories are pure obsession-fuelled magic, each one an engine of possibility powered by Diehl’s intense curiosity, her love of knowledge, her limitless imagination. Our Dreams Might Align is a map disguised as a book of stories, come with humor and heart to lead us back to somewhere like the best days of childhood, a world almost unbearably alive with mystery and wonder.Matt Bell, author of Scrapper and
In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods
Words pile on in fragile rhythms. Sentences are constructed out of negative space. The unsaid lingers. Fragments dominate. Each story exists only for a short time, breaking off suddenly. An atmosphere of absence seeps into each one, the fear of being left behind.Augusto Corvalan, The Masters Review
Dana Diehl is a scientist. Her stories run the gamut of scientific inquiry: biology, ecology, zoology, anatomy, astronomy, and geology all make cameos in Our Dreams Might Align. Whether through worms or wormholes, Diehl’s characters are experimenting, as is she. … [But often] what starts with a wry wink ends with a gut punch. Diehl’s stories may roam the stars and delve into the microcosms all around us, but they always land in the human heart.Rachel Richardson, Necessary Fiction
In her remarkable stories, Dana Diehl releases a new language for sadness and wonder. As I read, a robin flew through my temporal lobe. Each tale left me wanting another. In a world in which our existence is threatened, she plays Scheherazade, bringing us through dark nights.Catherine Zobal Dent, author of Unfinished Stories of Girls
Diehl’s imagination is staggering.Amanda Brightman, STORGY
Diehl’s stories take us to a variety of worlds… linked together in a delicate way.Eshani Surya, Heavy Feather Review
Diehl’s breathtaking stories explore both the natural world and the human heart with a scientist’s passionate inquiry and a poet’s exquisite precision. Our Dreams Might Align is a gorgeous debut collection that illuminates deep oceans and deep space, the amorous bite of a cobra rattler, and our profound desire to love and be loved.Tara Ison, author of Ball
In Dana Diehl’s début collection, a dazzling panoply of characters takes risks and makes choices in a more-than-humanly scaled universe. With poetic exactitude and exceptional scientific vision, Diehl brilliantly evokes geologic time, the migration of whales, space exploration, post-prison life, baby Komodo dragons, snakes, and the subtle laws of physics, arranging these, helix-like, around a human instinct for hope, illumined, and sometimes faulted, by love.Melissa Pritchard, author of A Solemn Pleasure
In Our Dreams Might Align, we encounter an accomplished and inventive storyteller with a gift for lyric language and dreamscape stories.Elizabeth Cohen, At the Inkwell