(1999) Set in the suburbanized lower-middle-class Southwest, the 12 stories in Poirier’s debut collection inhabit a landscape dominated by fast food joints, thrift stores and outlet malls, typical interiors revealing unmade beds and weary guests dozing on couches, with crumbs scattered all around and the television blaring.
(2003) Worm farms, pearl-button making, chicken processing, pornography, and beauty pageantry. These quirky cottage industries hold the potential to make fortunes, though it’s more likely that they’ll lead to bankruptcy and shattered dreams. Mark Poirier introduces the misfits and visionaries who embody the aspirations – and frequently the lunacy – of the American entrepreneur.
(2005) A car accident joins strangers linked by an intimate knowledge of madness. A teenage boy remembers his father’s act of sudden and self-righteous violence. A “hurricane party” reunites a couple whom tragedy parted. And, in an unforgettable three-story cycle, an illness sets in profound relief a man’s relationship with his mother and the odd, shifting fidelity of truth to love.
(2007). Amy Hempel is a master of the short story. This celebrated volume gathers together her complete work — four short collections of stunning stories about marriages, minor disasters, and moments of revelation. With her inimitable compassion and wit, Hempel introduces characters who make choices that seem inevitable, and whose longings and misgivings evoke eternal human experience.