The Geography of First Kisses


Title of the book: The Geography of First Kisses 

Author: Karin Cecile Davidson

Publisher: Kallisto Gaia Press Inc

Publishing Date: 2023

ISBN:  9781952224256


In The Geography of First Kisses, one finds portrayals of quiet elegance reminiscent of early-20th-century art films. The fourteen ethereal stories are tethered to the bays and backwaters of southern Louisiana, the fields of Iowa and Oklahoma, the pine woods of Florida, places where girls and women seek love and belonging, and instead discover relationships as complicated, bewildering, even sorrowful. A New Orleans girl spends a year collecting boyfriends and all the while considers the reach of her misadventures; a newlywed couple travels to Tulsa in search of a horse gone missing, perhaps more in search of themselves; a new mother is faced with understanding the miracles and mysteries of faith when her baby disappears; a young daughter travels to Tallahassee with her mother, trying to unravel the meaning of love crossed with abandonment. Saturated with poetic illusion and powered with prose of a dark, pulsating circuitry, the collection combines joy, heartache, and tenacity in a manner sorely missed in today’s super-structured literature.

Author Info:

Karin Cecile Davidson is the author of the story collection The Geography of First Kisses, winner of the 2022 Acacia Fiction Prize (Kallisto Gaia Press, April 2023), and the novel, Sybelia Drive (Braddock Avenue Books, October 2020). Her stories have been published in Five Points, The Massachusetts Review, Story Magazine, Colorado Review, The Los Angeles Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. Her awards include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Waasmode Short Fiction Prize, the Orlando Prize for Short Fiction, a Peter Taylor Fellowship, and residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and The Studios of Key West. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she now lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Table of Contents:

The Geography of First Kisses
We Are Here Because of a Horse
The Biker and the Girl
Eliza, In the Event of a Hurricane
One Night, One Afternoon, Sooner or Later
Sweet Iowa
That Bitter Scent
The Last I saw Mitsou
In the Great Wide
Soon the First Star
If You Ask Them Nicely

Personal Opinion:

I definitely fell in love with the books title because its very unusual and highly memorable. The stories themselves are best described as sparkling as stars with a breath of wind amidst the prairie grass. (That's the image that I keep getting whenever I recall them.) Almost all the stories take place in various states from Louisiana to Iowa and one even makes a mark in Germany. There is definite familiarity and beauty to each of them, and for the readers who are seeking something atmospheric similar to THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd, then THE GEOGRAPHY OF FIRST KISSES will be on the right path. For the curious readers, I really liked the horse tale as well as the biker tale and Sweet Iowa. 

This was given for review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


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