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Yes, Yes, Cherries: Stories

Category: Book
By (author): Otis, Mary
Series: Tin House New Voice
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
Publisher: WW Norton
Published: April 2007
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 210
Size: 7.25in x 5.00in x 0.75in
List Price:
$ 16.95
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$ 11.02
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Exploring the idea that truth lies in life's extremes, the partially linked stories in Yes, Yes, Cherries follow girls and women who are outsiders and find themselves in unusual circumstances. A lonely teenage girl falls in love with an older, married neighbor. A woman attends a party at the home of her boyfriend's ex-wife. A schoolteacher gets fired for teaching time incorrectly to grade-school students. And a young woman recovering from a breakup receives guidance from a drunk therapist. Poignant and sharply rendered, Otis's stories 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. Quirky and hilarious, these stories display a knowing affection for human strangeness.
Review Quote*"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?

"Shame, spurned love and seething desire run through the sometimes-connected stories in Otis's adroit debut collection."
-Publishers Weekly

"These are invisible people in pockets of the city that go under-chronicled . . . What ties them all together is Otis' strong voice, which is jittery and electric, unsettling like the Santa Ana winds . . . bringing the same eye for detail from one story to the next."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"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."
-Esquire.com

"In a collection of powerful short stories, Mary Otis shines light on how and why we fall in love . . . intimate stories of vastly different characters . . . Otis entertains with her remarkable observations about one of life's great mysteries."
-Wish Magazine

"Otis does a fine job recreating the contradictory impulses of reason and feeling. Her sharp, lively prose affectionately pinches the sallow cheeks of her many Allisons and maintains a tautness of rhythm that speaks to her ability as a sentence-crafter."
-Small Spiral Notebook

"The characters in these stories- whether a teacher who teaches time incorrectly, a policeman-philosopher at the scene of an accident, or a young girl who wears a frosted blond wig and knocks on her neighbor's door to sell 'what you need to buy'-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

"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 irresistable collection, Yes, Yes, Cherries beautifully enacts the poetry of bewilderment."
-Nancy Reisman, author of The First Desire and House Fires
Biographical NoteMary Otis's work has been published in Best New American Voices, Tin House, the Los Angeles Times, Cincinnati Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Berkeley Literary Journal, and Santa Monica Review. She was a runner-up in 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.