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Joy: Book summary and reviews of Joy by Erin McGraw

Joy

And 52 Other Very Short Stories

by Erin McGraw

Joy by Erin McGraw X
Joy by Erin McGraw
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  • Published Mar 2019
    304 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

Widely celebrated, Erin McGraw returns with her strongest collection yet, stories that will haunt you and amuse you, and are impossible to forget.

Claire Messud described Erin McGraw's last collection of stories as "at once laugh-out-loud funny and utterly serious, [exploring] life's profundity through its details." This is even more true with McGraw's new collection, Joy.

In these very short stories, narrators step out of themselves to explain their lives to us, sometimes defensively, sometimes regretfully, other times deceitfully. Voices include those of the impulsive first-time murderer, the depressed pet sitter, the assistant of Patsy Cline, the anxiety-riddled new mother, the aged rock-and-roller, the girlfriend of your husband - human beings often (incredibly) unaware of the turning points staring them in the face.

Crossing time, states, class, and religions, McGraw's stories are on the edge, causing you to wince even as you laugh. And McGraw will draw you to a deep need to read some sentences aloud - a sweet voice, a shrewd insight, some uneasy charm.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. How can stories this brief be so satisfying?...Fifty-three gems that demonstrate all the things a short story can do. Wow." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. McGraw's fourth collection proves she's a master of the form... It is astonishing what she is able to conjure up in the span of a few pages...McGraw is wise and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, with a seventh sense for the perfect turn of phrase... This quintessential collection of stories serves as an homage to the form while showcasing McGraw's stunning talent and deep empathy for the idiosyncrasies, small joys, and despairs of human nature." - Publishers Weekly

"In this poignant and sweeping collection of short stories, McGraw paints a beautiful and multifaceted portrait of domestic life in modern America...The stories find humanity in every situation, no matter how unsympathetic. Readers will find themselves understanding adulterers and murderers, not for their destructive choices but for the greater sum of their lives - an impressive feat, considering the brevity of the format." - Booklist

This information about Joy was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Erin McGraw

Erin McGraw, born and raised in Southern California, lived and taught for many years in the Midwest before retiring to rural Tennessee with her husband, poet Andrew Hudgins, and her dogs. She has written six previous books - three novels and three collections of stories - along with essays and occasional journalism.

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