Books

Like a Complete Unknown

In 1969, a girl’s life is not her own. Katya’s parents demand she drop out of school to join a cleaning crew. She runs away instead—but the counterculture isn’t as welcoming as she dreamed. Starry-eyed, barefoot, and in trouble, she turns to widowed Dr. Lewis for help at his women’s clinic, then disappears. The aging doctor’s rash impulse to save her might rejuvenate his own melancholy life. While Katya hunts for freedom and Robert searches for her, they each encounter beauty and chaos as they brave the unknown.

A compelling and evocative portrait that speaks to our own complex social times.

“Anara Guard writes with heart and power, and hers is a confident, moving novel. You will never think of Chicago in the same way again, or of what it feels like to be a desperate runaway teenager. Her remarkable characters face daunting challenges, realistically and freshly depicted against a backdrop of convulsive social change and pressing moral dilemmas. “

—Joseph diPrisco, chair of The New Literary Project 

Hand on My Heart

Thirty-five poignant and powerful poems, in which the poet performs word ballet, pirouetting her way through regrets, childbirth and parenting, floods and heat waves, the flight of owls and the dangers of ice fishing. Deeply personal and sensual, here you will find poems inspired by the Wizard of Oz, fallen giraffes, Mason jars; laments and praise; what may be love, and what is most certainly love. 2019.

In its thirty-six free-verse poems, Anara Guard’s collection unflinchingly approaches the narrator’s personal and public lives, complete with joys and tragedies both mundane and spiritual. Serious and direct, Guard consistently fills her ruminations with wonderful images. The language is clear and carefully chosen, the subjects and references cross-generational.”

— Lennart Lundh, Highland Park Poetry

Remedies for Hunger (Anara Guard)

Remedies For Hunger

Named by Chicago Book Review as a “Best Book of 2015,” these twelve short stories focus on moments in life when something turns, a promise is kept or broken. With vivid and precise details, Anara’s quiet tales introduce you to characters whose inner lives are both troubled and eloquent. You smell the permeating odors in a rundown Chicago apartment building, touch the texture of a bear’s thick fur, feel your feet scraping against the coils of a hairy rope ladder in the bathtub. A remedy to readers who hunger for stories that resonate long after the last page is turned. 2014.

These short stories are snapshots of urban life, intertwined with scenes from the country or the odd suburb…stories about children, con men, hippies, sweet fathers, and negligent mothers. Anara Guard picks out the secret jewels of the hardscrabble life where the domestic scene reveals the larger landscape. Her subject is the mystery of childhood, the certainty of death and the shining light somewhere in between with all its startling beauty.”

— Chicago Book Review

The Sound of One Body

A small hand-crafted collection of four short stories, issued by Back Pages Publishing, Waltham, Massachusetts, 2010. Out of print.

These fine stories offer brief, knowing glimpses into lives in transition. Anara Guard is a writer to be read again and again.”

— Bret Anthony Johnston, Author of "Corpus Christi: Stories"