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Yes, Yes, Cherries: Storiesby Mary Otis
"Yes, Yes, Cherries offers an intriguing batch of imperfect characters and unstable conditions. Otis has a sharp eye for people's habits. She knows how to draw flawed relationships. And under her guidance, hearing about the agony of lust and love never gets old. Of course, it's always more fun when it's happening to someone else." John Burgman, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
Exploring the idea that truth lies in life's extremes, the stories in Yes, Yes, Cherries are primarily about girls and women who are outsiders or who find themselves in unusual circumstances. Many of them are trying to find a place where they belong, whether in a romantic relationship, a job, or a family. In this quest they embark on a variety of adventures: falling in love with an older, married neighbor; attending a party at the home of a boyfriend's ex-wife; having affairs with married landlords; and receiving guidance from drunken therapists. The stories ask whom we love and why, how we search for love, hold onto it, lose it, and find it — sometimes at the last moment and in the most unlikely places. Quirky, hilarious, and deeply human, these stories display a knowing affection for human strangeness.
"Mary Otis sees things from the odd angle, which is the literary one. It makes her stories true-to-life, funny, brave, and amazing." Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
"An assured collection, linked occasionally by character but always by Otis's remarkable voice, her gift for the luminous detail, the surprising turn, the transcendent finish." Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"Yes, Yes, Cherries skates through the margins of American dreaming, its great poignancy balanced on heartbreaking absurdities. Mary Otis offers a dead-on candor spliced through with perceptual leaps, her realism glinting with near-psychotropic sparks. An irresistible collection, Yes, Yes, Cherries beautifully enacts the poetry of bewilderment." Nancy Reisman, author of The First Desire and House Fires
"The characters in these stories...show us what it means to be human. That's all a reader asks of any story. That is, of course, everything. Mary Otis writes stories that radiate intelligence, compassion, and humor." Ellen Slezak, author of Last Year's Jesus and All These Girls
Exploring the idea that truth lies in lifes extremes, Mary Otiss elegantly crafted debut collection combines the hilarious with the tragic. These partially linked stories follow the strange and comic adventures of girls and women united by sexual longing and misplaced passions: falling in love with an older landlord, a young librarian, or a married neighbor; getting fired for teaching time incorrectly; and receiving guidance from a drunk therapist. Quirky and funny, yet deeply human, the stories in Yes, Yes, Cherries seek answers to the questions of whom we love and why, how we search for love, lose it, or find it — sometimes at the last moment and in the most unlikely places.
About the Author
Mary Otis's work has been published in Best New American Voices, Tin House, the Los Angeles Times, Cincinnati Review, Berkeley Literary Journal, and Santa Monica Review. She was a runner-up in the Zoetrope, Poets and Writers magazine, and Swink short story contests, and her short story "Pilgrim Girl" received a 2004 Pushcart Prize honorable mention. Originally from the Boston area, she lives in Los Angeles.
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