"The personal, the artistic, and the spiritual collide with small, perfect explosions in these entrancing stories. Mary Jane Myers writes with great subtlety and poignancy, offering plenty of delights and surprises."--Ross King, author of Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
Bitter, joyful, worn down, filled with wonder, acutely self-aware, and often deeply in need of perspective--such are the women at the center of Mary Jane Myers' compelling debut short story collection. Lonely and stuck in lives that have begun to feel stale, these ordinary women--administrative assistants, typists, accountants--awake unto themselves after brushes with the surreal. While light and playful in tone, the stories reflect the hollowness and toxicity that can come from ascribing too strictly to the popularly held values of our contemporary society and the confusion caused by wobbly religious beliefs in a secular world.
Louise, an unassuming tourist, is accosted in a museum in Florence by the voice of Galileo's finger bone promising to grant her greatest wish in return for a simple favor. Diane narrowly escapes a toxic relationship and sinks into a depression when she becomes convinced the gods are speaking to her through a stone from the lava fields of Maui. Helen, who has always wanted someone with whom to appreciate classical music, ends up playing host to Franz Schubert, when she meets the young composer wandering in the woods near her home in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Witty, revelatory―and at times chilling―Curious Affairs allows us to see the strangeness in the ordinary.
Mary Jane Myers lives in Los Angeles. Curious Affairs is her debut collection of short stories.
So I’m Sitting Here: Her friend's late again and here comes Mr Action Romance.
The Charmer: Can you really trust a man who guarantees charm? She had absolutely nothing to lose.
Sometimes Here, Sometimes There: An impulsive reading with a sangoma at a travel fair produces an enigmatic but emphatic message.
9.8: Can a scientist accept a ‘magical’ solution to her problem?
Curse of the Wedding Bouquet: A step back can set you back more than just a step or two.
A Distant Love: He was always aloof at school. She was always too distant to him
Ever suffered from writer's block?
Jules Horne had a chronic form of the condition, known as writer's lock. Could a scientific experiment be the answer? She decided to write A STORY A DAY. IN FIVE MINUTES. How? Read on...
“Her stories are magical and profound, but light and funny at the same time. She is a dazzling storyteller.”*
Amy Scheibe, Free Press, Simon & Schuster Inc.
HOW TO WRITE A NANONOVEL:
•Shut your eyes.
•Choose a book from your shelf.
•Choose a phrase from the book.
•Put the phrase into Google.
•Write a story about the web page you find.
•In five minutes.
150 particle fictions, prose poems and nanodramas about eagles, trolls, Oulipo, Taylor's Theorem, Walden, sylosis, dogs, bumfles, leeches, toasted diamonds and other unexpected inspirations.
*Praise for WRAPPED TOWN
“A thoroughly refreshing read.” Asya Muchnick, Little Brown and Co, NY
“Immensely talented and truly original.” Anjali Singh, Vintage Books
Is what you see all there is? Look again.
Playful, frightening, even shocking – the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. This is a writer at the height of his power, making the reader think, making them laugh, and sometimes making them want to look away while holding their gaze.
Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself.
There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is...
Sarah Hall has been hailed as "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain’s young novelists" (The Guardian), a writer whose "intelligence and ambition are thrilling to behold" (BookForum). Her work has been acclaimed as "amazing . . . terrific and original" (Washington Post). In this collection of nine works of short fiction, she uses her piercing insight to plumb the depth of the female experience and the human soul.
A husband’s wife transforms into a vulpine in "Mrs. Fox," winner of the BBC Short Story Prize. In "Case Study 2, " A social worker struggles with a foster child raised in a commune. A new mother runs into an old lover in "Luxury Hour." In incandescent prose, full of rich observations and striking clarity, Hall has composed nine wholly original pieces—works of fiction that will resonate long after the final page is turned.
"Part romance, part mystery, part magic; all of which a joy to read." - Dreamer J's Book Reviews
"This story has everything I look for in a quality, entertaining piece of fiction. 1) A strong female lead, 2) a dark and mysterious male character (I admit, they are my weakness), 3) eloquent writing, and 4) lots of quirky humor and banter." - Danaye from Young @ Art book reviews
DESCRIPTION: THE APOTHECARY'S POISON
When a newspaper report of a medical miracle catches Matt's eye, he and India go in search of Dr. Hale in the hope he is more magical doctor than miracle worker and can lead them to Chronos. But Hale turns out to be an apothecary magician keen to educate the public about magic.
Their disappointment at not finding Chronos is soon forgotten when Hale is murdered, and Matt becomes a suspect. With Matt's nemesis Sheriff Payne influencing the investigating detective, India and Matt know they must find the real killer, or risk his freedom, and ultimately his life. Time is running out as they hunt for a killer capable of turning medicine into poison with a magic spell, as well as continue the search for Chronos. A search that must end in success before Matt's malfunctioning watch stops altogether.