Posts Tagged ‘short stories’
William Black’s debut collection looks closely at life in the heart of coal country — now fracking country — in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In these starkly beautiful, incandescent stories, people struggle with the grip that place and history have on them. They are consumed by searching — for love, for escape, for brief moments of clarity that give them the courage to continue.
William Black’s stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, and many other journals and magazines. He lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.
“Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu.”—Kirkus Reviews
“William Black’s stunning and stirring debut collection consists of twelve short stories set in Appalachia’s Northeastern Pennsylvania, where rugged hills and peaceful valleys landscape both the terrain and the soul. The evocative language in which Inheritances is written mirrors the highs and lows of his characters’ emotions as Black leads us and immerses us into their lives. Each story’s intriguing beginning and thought-provoking ending make this collection a keeper—one you’ll find yourself reaching for every time you need a dose of the valor and courage his characters demonstrate…. Make a space on your bookshelf for this one, preferably on a shelf within arm’s reach, as it’s a short-story collection you won’t want to part with.”—NewPages
“Inheritances pulls you in by the scruff of your neck, then pounds on your heart. These finely etched tales are told by narrators we trust and believe in, describing this ravaged landscape and its people with insight and authority. William Black clearly knows this world of hard lives and hard work — knows it well enough to find the softness in it, the tender places.”—Jim Daniels author of Eight Mile High
“William Black’s characters, though they don’t know it, are on adventures dark, dangerous, foolhardy, brave, and filled with the beauty of the human spirit. Black’s landscapes and histories sometimes punish these people, but Black’s eye, prose and generosity imbue both the starkest terrain and most desperate inhabitants with wonder and earned hope.” —Tim Parrish author of The Jumper
“William Black’s stories, of families caught in the drought of hollowed-out mining towns, are an inheritance of loss–of providing for one’s family, of a sense of self, of a sense of future. But somehow Black makes the hard, dangerous edges of their lives, the hot embers of their hearts, gleam and resonate. In short, they sting.”-Jen Michalski, The Tide King and The Summer She Was Under Water2015, 224 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1359-1 Paperback $15.00
The stories that make up Mary Elizabeth Pope’s debut short story collection, Divining Venus, are thematically linked by characters who, from blind dates to back seats to a drinking game gone wrong, discern something true about love.
In “Reunion” a divorced empty-nester faces up to the one who got away. In “Junior Lifesaving” a young woman conceals her competence to maintain a relationship with a man who is threatened by her strength, only to be faced with a terrible choice. In “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” a newly-minted college graduate must choose between adolescence and adulthood when she finds herself falling for her boyfriend’s father. And in the title story, “Divining Venus,” an eleven-year-old turns to a ouija board with questions about love when her classmates, teachers, and parents don’t have the answers.
Mary Elizabeth Pope grew up in Northport, Michigan and still spends every summer there. She has a Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from the University of Iowa and is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts. Divining Venus is her first collection of short stories.2014, 184 pages (Waywiser)
ISBN 978-1-904130-55-0 Paperback $17.95
H.L. Mencken made his reputation in journalism with satirical writing and controversial ideals. Although his is a name not customarily associated with short fiction, it was his first literary love and from 1900 to 1919, he published nearly 60 works of fiction. Here for the first time Mencken’s classic sharp wit and sarcasm are illustrated through a collection of 30 of those short stories and vignettes on such topics as marriage, professionalism, social graces, and class distinctions.
“Superb, clever, or hilarious use of language. . . Read ‘Epithalamium,’ a sendup of the social rigmarole of marriage for its exquisite choice of words, or the Poe-esque ‘The Window of Horrors,’ about a clothier and his obsession with life-like mannequins, for its chills. For quintessential Mencken, read ‘The Man of God,’ whose lowly grocer becomes an evangelist.”—Publishers Weekly
Cover image by Michael Jory. For more information about Michael please visit his his bio page..
2012, 384 pages (Dufour Editions)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1354-6 Paperback $16.95
This collection of stories is set in Portobello, on the edge of Dublin. The stories reflect on characters on the edge of life, personalities that do not quite fit in. Through the author’s eyes, and through the eyes of his characters, we follow his progress through these stories. Old friends are met, in loss or renewal, making or trying to make fresh starts, or looking back through the glass of time. Disappointment, happiness, and uncertainty lead to the realization that this place has become his home. Written over the past thirty years, these earnest and deeply human anecdotes form a greater story – of one man’s life in one place.
“Very evocative of place. . . They read, unsurprisingly given the book’s title, like sketches or portraits, the line between fiction and nonfiction further blurred by the frequent use of unnamed narrators and scratchboard illustrations.”—Publishers Weekly2012, 128 pages (Lilliput)
ISBN 978-1-84351-202-8 Paperback $19.95
In these twelve haunting stories, Mary Costello carefully examines the passions and perils of everyday life and relationships and, with startling insight, casts a light on the darkest corners of the human heart. What emerges is a compassionate exploration of how ordinary men and women endure the trials and complexities of marriage, memory, adultery, death, and the ripples of disquiet that lie just beneath the surface. With a calm intensity and an undertow of sadness, she reveals the secret fears and yearnings of her characters, and those isolated moments when a few words or a small deed can change everything, with stark and sometimes brutal consequences.
“Irish writer Costello shows a mastery of the short-fiction form in her first collection. Her prose is subtle, strong, and lyrical, while her knowledge of human nature yields memorable characters.”–Booklist
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2012
2012, 170 pages (Stinging Fly)
ISBN 978-1-906539-21-4 Paperback $19.95
Stories from long, long ago, part of an ancient oral tradition, handed down from generation to generation and written down by the Christian monks of medieval Ireland. Includes The Salmon of Knowledge, How Cu Chulainn Got His Name, The Children of Lir, The King with Donkey’s Ears, Fionn and the Giant, and The White Wolfhound Oisin. In a handy pocket format. Illustrated by Lisa Jackson.
“The illustrations are vivid and charming…. Perfect for story time with the little ones. And if you yourself are just learning about these age-old tales, Best-Loved Irish Legends is a great place to start.”—Irish America Magazine2012, 64 pages (O’Brien)
ISBN 978-1-84717-237-2 Hardback $7.95
There Are Little Kingdoms is a wonderfully imagined and riotously entertaining collection of stories chronicling life in the towns and cities of a changing land. A land where a strange new music sounds, where there are many uncertainties and absurdities, but where still there’s laughter in the dark – it echoes as compassion. This is a place where everything is changing, and where everything remains the same.
Kevin Barry received widespread critical acclaim and the Rooney prize for Irish Literature following the publication of this first book of stories in 2007. His stories have since appeared in The New Yorker and in the Granta Book of the Irish Short Story.
“Could easily have been titled ‘These Are Little Masterpieces.’ Barry gathers all the bewildered exasperation that Irish playwrights from Tom Murphy to Marina Carr and Enda Walsh have identified, and brings it, most brilliantly, to his dark, blackly hilarious and horrifically realistic narratives.”—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
Praise for Barry’s novel, City of Bohane:
“Barry’s addictive dialect and faultless confidence make this volatile novel a rare treat.”—Kirkus Reviews
“City of Bohane, the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels. They are all literary marvels, of course: marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy.”—The New York Times
“Reminiscent of Anthony Burgess at his A Clockwork Orange best.”—Publishers Weekly
ISBN 978-0-9550152-9-8 paper $15.95
Enslaved by their own fears, the characters in this riveting collection are straining for redemption. Their choices reflect the well-worn patterns we carve for ourselves through our idiosyncrasies—our dominant traits. A basketball coach teaches moral ambiguity; a divorcé clutches at sanity; a mother struggles with her son’s paternity; a childless man regrets his youthful onanism. Through their shared experiences these tangible characters undergo the sad, hilarious search for wholeness and security.
Set in the stark isolated landscape of Southern Alberta, Eric Freeze’s debut collection is a deftly-crafted study of desperate mortals careening through their liminal moments, grasping for certainty.
“Excellent stories. . . . Freeze produces realistic, believable people and delves deeply into their psyches to create truly enjoyable character studies.”—Booklist
Eric Freeze’s fiction has appeared in Boston Review, Tampa Review, Prairie Fire, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. An Albertan, he currently teaches at Wabash College in Indiana.
ISBN 978-0-8023-1350-8 paper $15.95
This third short story anthology from the Stinging Fly Press brings together an exciting line-up of new Irish fiction writers, many of whom have already won awards for their short stories, and places their work alongside new stories by more established writers like Kevin Barry, Julian Gough, and Christine Dwyer Hickey. The book also features an eclectic line-up of new international writing by authors from Romania, Serbia, Russia, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the US. There are twenty-two new short stories in this volume, edited by award-winning short story writer Phillip Ó Ceallaigh.2011, 238 pages (Stinging Fly)
ISBN 978-1-906539-15-3 Paper $21.95