Mary Miller

The characters in Mary Miller’s debut short story collection Big World are at once autonomous and lonesome, possessing both a longing to connect with those around them and a cynicism regarding their ability to do so, whether they’re holed up in a motel room in Pigeon Forge with an air gun shooting boyfriend or navigating the rooms of their house with their dad after their mother’s death.

Big World gives a full anatomy lesson of the kind of heart that’s kick-started by booze, cigarettes, and jukebox songs of regret. Miller writes with savage charm.”—The Believer

“Mary Miller is a master of tone. Big World triumphs by inhabiting a persistent tonal landscape, a recurring state of mind.”—The Rumpus

 

 

Less Shiny is a collection of short short stories from the author of Big World (short flight/long drive books 2009). Mary Miller’s stories have appeared in the Oxford American, New Stories from the South 2008, Mississippi Review, Black Clock, Quick Fiction, Barrelhouse, Hobart, and elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

They Could No Longer Contain Themselves contains—but just barely—five chapbooks of flash fiction, including the winner of the third annual Rose Metal Press short short chapbook contest, and four of the finalists from the fourth. Dropped toddlers, attempted drownings, juvenile promiscuity, road trips, and inappropriate therapy sessions compose the multi-voiced family portrait in Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake by Elizabeth J. Colen. Yoga stalkers, guns and gold, babies with iron stomachs, drunkards with t-shirt cannons, and warlocks are the stuff of Do Not Touch Me Not Now Not Ever by John Jodzio. Dominatrixes and fetishists, face paint and goo, fierce parental love and perverse longings cohabitate in Evan’s House and the Other Boys Who Live There by Tim Jones-Yelvington. Leukemia, meteorites, Wal-Mart, bocce ball, Charlie Brown’s clinical depression, the language of talking crows and of Che Guevara’s omelets fill the eggs in How Some People Like Their Eggs by Sean Lovelace. And smallstories about pretty girls who sit quietly and behave themselves (or not) populate the pages of Paper and Tassels by Mary Miller.

The uncontainability of each of these remarkable collections suggests the exuberance of the flash fiction form itself, including the way in which, despite its small size, it pushes past its own borders and into the territory of something larger and impossible to confine.

Read an Excerpt…

“Rose Metal Press has done it again. A wonderful range of voices comes at you from this collection of flash fictions with stories that haunt, that tell of grit and love and loss and longing with the kind of detail and patience that makes your teeth ache.”
—Sherrie Flick, author of I Call This Flirting

“It’s often said if you want to get a true feel for a story writer’s work you need to read at least one entire collection by that writer. The Rose Metal Press chapbooks speed this up. With a collection of collections like They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, you begin to get a feel for an entire generation of writers.”
—Robert Shapard, coeditor of Sudden Fiction Latino

“What a fantastic collection. Wow! What emerges is the sense of the possibilities of compression and conviction, each piece complete in itself, connected to the whole. Throughout is Jodzio’s ‘tiny spark, that small bit of combustion deep inside,’ a desire that demands our intense attention, that, to rephrase Colen, might steal breath back if we look away. It’s all so full of wonder and surprise, where purple thermoses meet the edge of sky, couples spread arms and fingers to quantify love, and Charlie Brown, in ‘this same musty shirt, 34 years,’ writes it all down.”
—Randall Brown, author of Mad to Live

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