Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2010 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.
"Excellent and lively. A sharp wit, the apt metaphor, the turn of phrase that pleases and surprises."—Marge Piercy, contest judge
"Bright, brassy, spunky, intelligent. Ingenious writing. . . . Quirky and filled with metaphoric twists that often startle."—Michael Mirolla, contest judge
"Smart, funny, biting, and, above all, touching. A collection to savor over and over."—Michael White, author of Beautiful Assassin
Praise for Joan Connor's previous collections:
"Brilliantly quirky wit and wordplay."—Syndey Lea, author of A Little Wilderness
"A deeply talented writer."—Alyce Miller, author of Water
"Candor, bracing wit, and skewering insight that could kill if she let it."—Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart
Joan Connor's collection investigates love and loss, sex, family, and the ways they echo back through memory, sometimes to comfort and sometimes to bite. Some comic, some dark, the stories range from lyrical to laugh-out-loud funny. The title story is a mock self-help manual on how to fall out of love. "Men in Brown" is a rollicking account of a woman infatuated with her UPS man. "Aground" is a dark account of male lust and violence on a lonely island in Maine.
Joan Connor is a professor at Ohio University and at Fairfield University's low residency MFA program. She received the AWP award for her collection History Lessons, and the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize for The World Before Mirrors. Her two earlier collections are We Who Live Apart and Here on Old Route 7.
"Sprightly, sanguine writing infuses these 13 tales of faulty love and fizzled connections with a compelling energy and likability. The kickoff story in Conner's new collection, 'Men in Brown,' features a solitary woman who works at home in Vermont and develops a crush on her UPS man. The narrator, describing herself as an agoraphobe and claustrophobe who 'rattles around in my house like a stray thought,' shares a litany of crushingly depressing dates with men, while fantasizing hilariously about her uniformed delivery man ('all that well-packaged pulchritude') who remarks smartly on the books delivered to her door because he reads, too. Other stories sound themes of hopeful relationships, mismatched men and women trying desperately to fall in love, like the middle-aged couple out walking along the beach in 'The Fox' whose different reactions to the fox (the man needs to get closer to take a picture, the woman is content to observe its beauty) indicate their own elusive link. A couple who meet at a hardware conference, in 'What It Is,' later spend several disappointing days together, colliding constantly against leavened expectations and hardened civilities. Connor (History Lessons) catches the zeitgeist fearlessly and with verve." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Looking for love after forty: comic, dark, brassy, intelligent.
About the Author
Joan Connor: Joan Connor is a professor at Ohio University and a professor in Fairfield Universitys low residency MFA program. She is a recipient of the AWP award for her short story collection History Lessons, and of the River Teeth Award for her collection of essays, The World Before Mirrors. Her two earlier collections are We Who Live Apart and Here On Old Route 7. Her stories and essays have been published in six anthologies and more than 40 journals.
How to Stop Loving Someone won the 2010 Leapfrog Fiction Contest, adult category.
Fellowships, Awards and Grants:
Fellowships from: Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Colony
Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award
The River Teeth Award in Nonfiction
The AWP Award in Short Fiction
The John Gilgun Award
The Ohio Writer award in fiction and nonfiction
Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship