Anna Mockler will read from her new short story collection, "Burning Salt," at Lucy's Books at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.

This debut collection is comprised of 17 short stories that give voice to otherwise voiceless souls. A homeless couple hear rats singing from the sewer outfalls. A village rejects two children when their mother is labeled a communist. A young woman on her first furlough from a mental hospital scatters her medication like seeds in her sister's garden.

According to the Bumbershoot Literary Arts magazine, "The sly, imaginative writing of Anna Mockler is like having an ear to the wall of the neighbors - one of the most noted short fiction writers in Seattle, she explores the lives and secrets usually kept behind closed doors."

"Burning Salt" is published by StringTown Press, the brainchild of Astorian Polly Buckingham, the founder and editor of the annual literary anthology StringTown.

Born in New York, Mockler has lived all over the country, performing a writer's traditional jobs: factory worker, office temp, waitress, printer, cabdriver and restoration ecologist. In 1992, she moved to the Pacific Northwest, where she wrote this book over the ensuing decade. Presently she lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

For more information, call Lucy's Books, 348 12th St. in Astoria, (503) 325-4210.