Julie Langsdorf’s short stories and essays have appeared in Lit Hub and Electric Literature among other publications. She is the recipient of four individual artist awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel is White Elephant (Ecco). The white elephant looms large over the town of Willard Park: a newly constructed behemoth of a home, it towers over the quaint houses, including Allison and Ted Millers’ tiny hundred-year-old home. When owner Nick Cox cuts down the Millers’ precious red maple, in an effort to make his unsightly property more appealing to buyers, their once serene town becomes a battleground. White Elephant is a tangled-web tale of a community on the verge and its all-too-human inhabitants, who long to connect but can’t seem to find the words. It’s a story about opposing sides struggling to find a middle ground—a parable for our times.