Erin Macgraw's Lies of the Saints is full of quirky people with modest, earnest desires. In the first story, "The Return of the Argentine Tango Masters," a radio talk show host has to deal with daily phone calls from her ex-husband which make her ratings soar; in "Rich," a man believes he has won the lottery, only to find out his best friend had set it up as a joke; in "Blue Skies," a woman discovers she is uneasy with her husband's new sobriety and is constantly on guard for him to fail; in "Suburban Story," a woman performs an unexpected miracle and gains a reputation in her neighborhood for being a healer; and in the last three connected stories, saintliness is explored as the reader follows one Irish Catholic family through the years. I loved this collection and MacGraw's characters.
I also finished Mary Robison's Tell Me: 30 Stories a combination of selections from three of her previous collections. I loved these beautiful, often quiet stories. Most of all I appreciated Robison's unpretentious, perfect endings. The woman can end a story!
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.