Kat Gardiner’s debut collection of microfiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year she spent in Anacortes, Washington. Young and idealistic, she and her husband moved to town to open a café and music venue in the hopes of finding a home there.

The experiment lasted exactly one year.

In interconnected fragments, Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self. Characters navigate frustration, loss, heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves. Little Wonder sheds light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.


“Kat Gardiner’s Little Wonder is a wondrous little book. In tiny, engaging fragments, it tells the tale of Gardiner’s one-year foray into owning a business — a coffee shop music venue in Anacortes, Washington. Poignantly, beautifully written, Little Wonder examines the joy and heartbreak of trying and failing at something you love.” 

— Gigi L. of Powell’s City of Books

“I can see the sun sinking down over Anacortes at the end of every page. Little Wonder has the ache of Raymond Carver, the honesty, the vulnerability. It’s so melancholic and honest and beautiful.”

— Kyle Field of Little Wings

“The stories here are microbursts of emotion, often only a few paragraphs long. They’re a cross-pollination of literary and musical influences, like if Lydia Davis grew up crying to K Records tapes, or if Ray Carver was haunted by coastal loneliness instead of suburban dread.”

— Justin Kamp, Paste Magazine

“The book is a fractured and affecting take on marriage, friendship, trying to run a business during a recession, and the singular character of the town of Anacortes...Spoiler alert: It is very, very good.”

— Martin Douglas, KEXP

“Gardiner lays imagery on the table like telling a story with photographs (with the occasional peek into the shitstorm of emotional despair only a monumental brush with failure can inspire)”

Passion of Weiss Year End List

Order the book with the bandana to get a discount on both. Made in the USA, this super lightweight cotton bandana is discharge printed, leading to wonderful variation and super-soft feel. Designed by Portland artist Lettie Jane Rennekamp and featuring quotations from Little Wonder.

Want just the bandana? Order it here.