MTPR

short stories

Riverbend Publishing

In these stories, Patterson explores what it is to grow up female in the American West. As her narratives reveal the lives of travelers, homemakers, radio show announcers, mothers, teachers, dancers, shop clerks, and the subterranean world of girls, they take the reader from a ferry dock in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, to a two-room school in the Bitterroot Valley, from brash, backpacking college students to young new mothers on the edge, from the 1920s to the 1990s. In Ballet at the Moose Lodge, Patterson explores in delicate and searing prose the visible and invisible negotiations women make to navigate lives bound by the rugged western landscape.

"The point I was at when I was writing a lot of these stories, let’s face it, I was in my mid to late twenties. I had a cheating heart, still do. That personal aspect of it, I think, most of the men I know, it’s something they’ve struggled with in their life, so to make it any other way would not be true to my reality. In a collection of stories I do think you have a duty to try to show your breadth as a writer and so as a criticism it’s pretty legit because if I am portraying a certain aspect of my characters in a repetitive manner, that’s something I definitely don’t want to do. So I would probably agree with your assessment of that, which is one of the things I did like about my decision to put a longer story at the end from a female perspective just to kind of show I’m more than maybe just a one-trick pony. Hopefully." -- Callan Wink

Author Casts 'Spells for Victory and Courage'

Jul 19, 2017
Brighthorse Books

The characters in Spells for Victory and Courage, winner of the Brighthorse Prize for Short Fiction, search for love and belonging in all the broken places. A teenage girl takes care of her ex-jockey father. A retired professor befriends the local shepherd. A carnival clown picks a fight with the wrong customer.

Antonya Nelson's 'Funny Once' Is Funny Lots

Jun 21, 2017

The stories in Antonya Nelson's collection Funny Once are clear-eyed, hard-edged, beautifully formed. In the title story, "Funny Once," a couple held together by bad behavior fall into a lie with their more responsible friends. In "The Village," a woman visits her father at a nursing home, recalling his equanimity at her teenage misdeeds and gaining a new understanding of his own past indiscretions.

In these twelve new stories of All I Want Is What You’ve Got, award-winning author Glen Chamberlain deftly writes about the fragility of small town life. Chamberlain ushers us amongst the half-broken lives, sharing the moments of regret, yet allowing the redemptive qualities of her characters to ultimately shine through. From a night nurse confessing her forgotten desires to an invalid to a Chinese girl trying to piece together a past from a single photograph; from an elderly rodeo cowboy falling in love with a beautiful stranger to a woman acutely aware of the intricacies that lead to her own death, All I Want Is What You’ve Got is that book of stories that reveals how the most profound moments in life are the ones taken for granted.

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