• About Carrie

    Carrie Esposito's fiction has been published in The Georgia Review, Ruminate Magazine, MonkeyBicycle, The MacGuffin, Pif Magazine, King Ludd's Rag (by Malarkey Books), Mused, Everyday Fiction, the 4th edition of the Ms. Aligned anthology, and another is forthcoming in Slab LitMag where it won first place in the Willliam Boggs fiction contest. She is going to be a 2023 Bread Loaf scholar, and her stories have been a finalist for the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, the Curt Johnson Prose Awards and have received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train. She has an author interview up on the Short Today Podcast, where she was delighted with the thoughtful conversation about her process and the themes in her work. Her first personal essay was a Saturday Editor's Pick in Litro Magazine, and she has poetry published at Tipton Poetry Journal, Nostalgia Press, and Porcupine Literary.

    While the Assistant Principal of a 6-12 school in Brooklyn, Carrie began the novel No Way to Fall Off This Earth, writing it in a notebook on the subway ride to and from work. She is currently seeking publication for this novel, as well as for To All We Pledge Allegiance and When Whispers Shatter. She works as an Educational Consultant for Teaching Matters in the NYC schools, where she supports school efforts to increase equitable outcomes.

     

     

  • Books

  • No Way to Fall Off This Earth

    Manuscript One

    About

    In No Way to Fall Off This Earth, a principal in Brooklyn goes to India to search for two missing students only to grapple with the consequences of finding them.

    Three years into founding an engineering-focused 6-12 school in Brooklyn for young women of color, Gwen investigates the mysterious absence of Bengali-Muslim twin eighth graders, Amala and Zahrah.
    When she learns their father brought them to India after their mother’s sudden death, she tries to accept both the loss of her relationship with Zahrah, who was in her office nearly every day, and that the twins are no longer hers or the schools’ responsibility.
    But then she gets a desperate message that they’ve been separated from their father in a crowded market in Delhi.
    Stretching the boundaries of her position, Gwen decides to go to Delhi, soon falling for Nikhil, an Indian man with a hidden past who grew up in America. He questions her rescue mission from the start, even as he continues to help her search and their feelings for each other grow.
    Meanwhile, the twins navigate their way through the unfamiliar terrain, encountering both dangers and moments of grace. Amala becomes enthralled by India, while Zahrah would do anything to get them back to Brooklyn.
    But once Gwen is reunited with the twins, her choices and Amala’s desires collide, causing devastating loss while setting them both on their unlikely paths home.
     

    Behind the Story

    Amala and Zahrah Khadim, the twin sisters in No Way to Fall Off This Earth, were inspired by twins who were on the roster of the middle school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn where I was the Assistant Principal. One of my responsibilities was to make sure that students who were called “no shows” were discharged from our school, but students may not be discharged from a New York City school’s roster until there is proof that they have either moved or are going to school elsewhere. The twins proved to be a more difficult case, until we found out their father had taken them out of the country. I continued to wonder about them, until I had to write this imagined account of what happened next. I set the story in India, because I'd fallen in love with the country, the culture, and the people when I spent time there as part of my previous role as a corporate trainer.

    Excerpt

    Gwen Ellis, principal and founder of The Young Women’s Engineering Academy in downtown Brooklyn, rolled with her palm the orange languishing on her desk for the last three days. The orange was there because of Zahrah. Two years earlier, when she was in sixth grade and in Gwen’s office once again, silent once again, she plucked an orange off Gwen’s desk and started peeling it, eating each slice, then offering Gwen the last one as if it had been hers all along.

     

  • To All We Pledge Allegiance

    Manuscript Two

    About

    Two cousins who grew up together but have lived opposite lives reckon with their fraught family history and where it has brought them in the present.

    When Leah’s father dies suddenly, she returns to his upstate New York hometown, where she spent Jewish holidays and summers with her cousin Marni, who she hasn’t seen in more than a decade, not since her disappearance.

    As Leah processes her grief in the house where she once shared clothing, secrets, and escapades with Marni, she reads the diary her cousin left for her. Leah finds herself following Marni’s footsteps as she dates a soldier from the nearby army base while learning of Marni’s life as an army wife—her whirlwind romance followed by deployment and then Shane’s arrest for shooting a family in Afghanistan.

    But when Marni unexpectedly returns, both women must come to terms with the destruction wrought by the men in their lives and what that means for the love which has in many ways defined them.

    Behind the Story

    While this story is fiction, I was interested in exploring the impact of the wars overseas on the people left behind in smaller American cities and towns. I set the story in Watertown, New York, where my father grew up and where my uncle and grandfather owned a shoe store like the one in the book. It experienced a twenty-year decline and now sits vacant in the once budding downtown. I spent my summers in the shoe store and Jewish holidays in their modest synagogue, where I was fascinated by the soldiers from nearby Fort Drum who would sometimes join us for services.

    Excerpt

    Leah and Marni hid in a forgotten corner of the basement below their family’s shoe store. It was early fall and cold outside, but they were sweating like the dampness seeping from the walls. Marni pinched Leah on the baby flesh still on her upper arms if she breathed too loud. Marni didn’t want them to be
    found, though Leah was growing tired of the game, which maybe wasn’t a game to Marni.

  • When Whispers Shatter

    Manuscript Three

    About

    Jodi stands accused of sexually assaulting her fifteen-year-old daughter’s boyfriend, Rafael.

    Though Jodi is unnerved that her studious and responsible daughter has kept her boyfriend a secret, she finds herself forming a friendship with him. Their relationship escalates as do their secrets and confidences until the day a police officer arrives to arrest Jodi. Alvaro, Jodi’s husband, and Miranda end up at odds as they grapple with understanding the wife and mother they thought they knew.

    Meanwhile, Rafael, reeling from missing his estranged father and broken-hearted after a relationship gone wrong with his former English teacher, isn’t sure who he can trust and what kind of justice he seeks.

    Jodi feels as trapped by her ankle monitor as she always has by her troubled past, and she’s failing to find answers for the husband and daughter she adores. Fearing a trial could never expose the whole truth, Jodi tries to take matters into her own hands with Rafael at the run-down motel where she has been living. But she’s failed to realize how much he’s willing to sacrifice now that he feels he has nothing left.

    Behind the Story

    This novel is based on a story I heard from my hometown where a woman was put in jail for sexually assaulting her daughter’s boyfriend. What intrigued me the most was that the woman’s husband and daughter stood by her, while her family of origin shunned her. This started all sorts of questions about innocence, identity, sexuality, love, and forgiveness that are explored in this story.

    Also, as with my previous novel, No Way to Fall Off This Earth, I'm inspired by my work in the New York City public schools to explore the unique relationships that can develop between adults and adolescents.

    Excerpt

    He shrugged and backed away, not closing the front door when he left. He hopped over the porch steps and veered off to the right, slapping the tall bush with his palm as he crossed our narrow strip of lawn. Before stepping onto the sidewalk, he turned to where I stood in the open door and nodded, like he was saying yes to a question I hadn’t asked.

     

  • Stories & Essays

    "I Came Here to Be Alone" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in The Georgia Review

    My reading of an excerpt at 'Stories on Stage'

     

    An artist, Justin, moves to Western Minnesota from Brooklyn to work on his art in peace and solitude. But when a dog comes up to his art studio and leads Justin to his front lawn, the discovery he makes there won't allow him to go back to the solitary life he thought he wanted.

    "Man of the House" by Carrie Esposito

    Finalist for the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize and Published in Ruminate Magazine.

    Hear this story read aloud on the The Short Story Today Podcast

     

    Set in 1956, and told from the perspective of a young boy who witnesses the sudden death of his father, this story examines the ways tragic death can become a shadow over the living.

    "Panning for Gold" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in King Ludd's Rag (by Malarkey Books)

    When a coffee shop regular passes away in a Colorado mountain town, a young woman contends with what his death says about her own life and loneliness.

    "Sacred Ash" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in the Ms. Aligned Anthology, an anthology of stories written by women from the POV of men coming of age.

    Nate, or Shankar, as he calls himself at the ashram where he lives near Boulder, Colorado, goes home for a family funeral and must face the ways in which his spiritual practice doesn't hold up under pressure.

    "What Becomes You" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in The MacGuffin

    When JT, a former actress, develops a crush on a young playwright, her family life, her marriage, and her aspirations are thrown into question.

    "It Starts With You" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in Pif Magazine

    A grieving woman willfully misses her husband's funeral, instead revisiting the place where she met a man decades earlier.

    "For Sale: (Maybe) Haunted Doll" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in MonkeyBicycle

    This is a piece of flash fiction about a woman on the edge selling a haunted doll (or is it?).

    "To You - The Woman on the Run" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in Every Day Fiction

    This is a piece of flash fiction which explores a moment in time between two women, one who is ostensibly helping the other to her feet, while it might be the other way around.

    "Fairy Tales and Freedom" by Carrie Esposito

    William Boggs Fiction Contest Winner/Forthcoming in SlabLitMag & Finalist for the Curt Johnson Prose Awards

    While running on the trails, Brooke has an accident and encounters Dustin, a man living in the mountains, and their interaction helps her come to terms with all she loves and hates about her life.

    "Preservation" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in Mused

    When Theresa loses her father, she flies across the country to see her mother from whom she’s been estranged for as long as she can remember. In the confines of their Upper East Side apartment, the assumptions she’s always held true about her mother slip away in the face of grief, even as both she and her mother fear letting go of the way things have always been between them.

    "Broken Fourth Walls" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in Mused 

    Fiona, a cynical young woman, sits in a Denver bar late at night with her husband Ryan. She has a strange, ghostly encounter with Maggie, another patron at the bar, who tells stories of her youth in Manhattan in the 1980s and reveals a secret that changes everything for Fiona.

    "On Moving West and Back Again" by Carrie Esposito

    Published in Litro Magazine

    In her first personal essay, Carrie writes about the experience of moving with her family from NYC to Denver and back home again.

  • Media & Poetry

    Poetry: Nostalgia Press*Tipton Poetry Journal*Porcupine Literary

    Read here for Carrie's featured writer spot on Nostalgia Press.

     

    Read here for Carrie's poem about birth in Tipton Poetry Journal.

     

    Read here for Carrie's poem about children in the NYC schools in Porcupine Literary.

    Short Story Today Podcast

    Click here to listen to Carrie's first author interview on the Short Today Podcast.

     

    Click here to listen to Carrie's selected short which kicks off a special Valentine's Day episode of The Short Story Today podcast.

     

    Read here for Carrie's experience exploring the book village of Hobart, New York in the Catskills.

    Carrie's book reviews on Goodreads

    Carrie's intro starts at 58:46 OR watch the whole show for some amazing stories of being a mother or having a mother at all stages of life.

    Carrie's reading from a short story at "Stories on Stage" in Denver.

    Lighthouse Writers Top-Secret Blog

    Read here for Carrie's first experience at LitFest at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

     

    Read here for Carrie's thoughts on writing novel openings inspired by a class with Dana Spiotta.

  • Contact Carrie

  • Email Carrie