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Always Happy Hour: Stories

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Description

"I adore Mary Miller's stories and you will too. Read this book and then read her others. Like, now." —Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Combining hard-edged prose and savage Southern charm, Mary Miller showcases biting contemporary talent at its best. Fast on the heels of her "terrific" (New York Times Book Review) debut novel, The Last Days of California, she now reaches new heights with this collection of shockingly relatable, ill-fated love stories.

Acerbic and ruefully funny, Always Happy Hour weaves tales of young women—deeply flawed and intensely real—who struggle to get out of their own way. They love to drink and have sex; they make bad decisions with men who either love them too much or too little; and they haunt a Southern terrain of gas stations, public pools, and dive bars. Though each character shoulders the weight of her own baggage—whether it’s a string of horrible exes, a boyfriend with an annoying child, or an inability to be genuinely happy for a best friend—they are united in their unrelenting suspicion that they deserve better.

These women seek understanding in the most unlikely places: a dilapidated foster home where love is a liability in "Big Bad Love," a trailer park littered with a string of bad decisions in "Uphill," and the unfamiliar corners of a dream home purchased with the winnings of a bitter divorce settlement in "Charts." Taking a microscope to delicate patterns of love and intimacy, Miller evokes the reticent love among the misunderstood, the gritty comfort in bad habits that can’t be broken, and the beat-by-beat minutiae of fated relationships.

Like an evening of drinking, Always Happy Hour is a comforting burn, warm and intoxicating in its brutal honesty. In an unforgettable style that distinguishes her within her generation, Miller once again captures womanhood in "a raw…and heartbreaking way" (Los Angeles Review of Books) and solidifies her essential role in American fiction.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 05, 2016 – In Miller's stellar new collection of stories, a series of women who are struggling to figure out their lives must learn to cope with unsatisfying relationships and complicated friendships. All of the stories feature intimate, first-person narration from a woman who is in some form of trouble. In the title story, a college composition teacher has trouble maintaining her relationship with her boyfriend, mainly because they both drink heavily and he has a young son. In another story, "First Class," a young woman tags along on expensive trips with her wealthy, bored friend even though neither of them especially want to be together. "Big Bad Love" concerns a narrator who works at a shelter for abused children. She cares about the neglected kids and dotes on one of them in particular, hoping the child will remember that someone loved her once. The women in these stories worry about their weight, how they look in bikinis, if they will ever have children, and whether they are living the life they should be. Miller's collection feels so true because it never glosses over the desperate or unflattering portrayals of its narrators, but neither does it exploit their faults. These stories acutely explore boyfriends, exes, poor choices, and the sad fallout of so many doomed relationships.
Always Happy Hour: Stories
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Jan 10, 2017
  • Publisher: Liveright
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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