Still Life with Plums is a vibrant collection of short stories that weaves together the outwardly distant lives of several strangers. With heaping doses of dark humor and magical realism, these ten stories enliven a cast of characters carefully speckled throughout the southern portion of the United States. From West Virginians, to Texans and Latinos, Still Life with Plums circles the paths of a Black-Irish West Virginian, a wise-cracking dog groomer, an emasculated husband, a Guatemalan widow, a Japanese-Latin-American poster child from WWII, and a meticulous predator. Marie Manilla’s accessible prose is deceptively layered, as she births and wrestles this quirky ensemble that unflinchingly probes the human psyche, while affirming a concrete connection to a shared place and identity.
About the Author:
Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The Patron Saint of Ugly (winner of the 2014 Weatherford Award) has been described as a blend of magical realism, Southern Gothic, and Sicilian malocchio. Daniel Wallace selected her novel, Shrapnel (2012), as winner of the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Still Life with Plums: Short Stories (2010), was a finalist for both the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year