Two Nurses, Smoking: Stories

Category: Book
By (author): Means, David
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
  FICTION / Small Town & Rural
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: September 2022
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 8.25in x 5.37in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 35.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A new collection of stories by David Means, a visionary "master of the form" (The Observer).

David Means is one of the best storytellers of our time. Having earned comparisons to Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, and Denis Johnson, he has spent a lifetime honing a unique vision and has gained a devoted international readership. Two Nurses, Smoking is the fullest expression yet of the themes of trauma, hope, love, and despair that have defined his work across five acclaimed collections and the novel Hystopia.

In the Covid era, these stories of survival and healing in the midst of loss, grief, and isolation offer us catharsis, compassion, and wisdom. Two nurses stand alone together in a hospital parking lot, smoking and speaking tenderly to each other. A dachshund raises her nose and catches the scent of her former owner in the wind one afternoon. A woman with an intense phobia of water appears on the Hudson River in a red kayak. On the porch of a mental hospital, two friends talk about a ball of lightning. A couple who met in a bereavement group in a church basement stand reunited at the bottom of a ski slope. Always original, always arresting, Means' ingenious stories build around intimate moments to form an expansive sense of what it means to be fully human.

"Vows," included here, was awarded a Pushcart Prize. Other stories have been celebrated by Jesmyn Ward, who featured "Clementine, Carmalita, Dog," in Best American Short Stories 2021, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who selected the title story for the O. Henry Prize, writing that it "left me weeping."

Biographical Note

David Means is the author of five story collections, including Assorted Fire Events, The Spot, The Secret
Goldfish and, most recently, Instructions for a Funeral. His novel, Hystopia, was nominated for the Man
Booker Prize.