"Punch for punch, these micro fists hit at you hard and with life’s betrayals and losses. Gay Degani gives a knockout blow in “Abbreviated Glossary” when the termination of a pregnancy is also the loss of dignity at the hands of an unsympathetic, career-focused husband."
I'll be reading Thursday night in San Francisco, September 6, at 7:30 at The Bindery Bookstore along with Stace Budzko, Kirstin Chen, Jane Ciabattari, James Claffey, Grant Faulkner, Thaisa Frank, Molly Giles, Cadence Low, Melissa G. McCracken, Lynn Mundell, Pamela Painter, and Nancy Stohlman!
Here's the press release:
Exceptionally Short Fiction
Edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro
“Reading these wonderful tiny fictions is like stealing food from the refrigerator before, or after, dinner. A sublime luxury.”
—Frederick Barthelme, New World Writing
“These micro fictions violate the laws of geophysics by compressing whole lives / whole worlds / whole heartbreaks into something like diamonds: bright, riven, reflective, edged, wonderful, and hard enough to cut through glass.”
—Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
“New Micro’s quick, bright stories are, like our lives, as brief as lightning in the blinding dark.They offer us essential truth without the inessential facts.”
—John Dufresne, author of Flash! Writing the Very Short Story
Each story in NEW MICRO: Exceptionally Short Fiction [W. W. Norton & Company; August 28, 2018; $15.95 paperback original] comes in at fewer than 300 words. And each, according to the foreword by Robert Shapard, editor of Flash Fiction Forward, “hangs in the air of the mind like an image made of smoke.” Quick, surprising, demanding, unsettling—these shorts represent a new trend in contemporary fiction. With them, our finest writers achieve the power and range of much longer works in ever-more-brief and compressed spaces. Elusive, mysterious, deep and sudden as a sinkhole, they are sure to delight fans of flash fiction and novels alike.
Editors James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro spent years assembling the best examples of the form, drawing extraordinary stories from contemporary books, journals and smaller anthologies. The result is a collection of work by distinguished writers like Amy Hempel, John Edgar Wideman, Kim Addonizio, Richard Brautigan, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Stuart Dybek, Joyce Carol Oates, and James Tate. Works by less familiar names are equally thrilling and demonstrate the authors’ gifts and their abilities to test the limits of the form.
The stories in this anthology are as varied as they are indelible: a girl finds a job playing lookout for an adulterous neighbor; an old woman is robbed on a train; a child dies in a shooting; a family holds a barbecue. They deal with familiar fictional subjects—love and marriage, death, strangers coming to town—and yet make these canonical topics feel fresh.
There are subjects less familiar, and stranger, too. In a seventy-five-word story by Lou Beach, a character is shot in the arm by a thieving monkey. In “Furnace” by Kevin Griffith, a furnace repairman becomes stuck in a family’s ducts: “On certain nights, the children gather around the vent and listen to him tell fanciful stories about wolves, elves, and armless people.”
And others get yet more surreal. An unremarkable man finds a statue of himself in a park. A woman marries a breakfast cereal, then a cigarette, then a stone. An entire society of people decides to become hermits. An orgasm decides to take a selfie. Each story expands upon reading, hinting at worlds beyond the words. The stories “resonate in the silences,” write the editors, “like the last notes of a cello.'
With 89 authors and 135 stories, the anthology invites exploration. Travel time is minimal, but the destinations are far-flung. These stories instruct, enlighten, entertain, and, like the very best fiction, formulate new questions that resonate beyond their scope and length.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
James Thomas has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and two NEA grants. He lives in Xenia, Ohio.
Robert Scotellaro is the author of Bad Motel and Measuring the Distance. He lives in San Francisco.
SUBTITLE: Exceptionally Short Fiction
EDITORS:James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro
PUBLICATION DATE: August 28, 2018
PRICE:$15.95 paperback original
Contact: Caroline Saine