TYCAT

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TYCAT 2017

October 27-28

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Featured Luncheon Speaker: Mary Miller, author of Always Happy Hour

  • “Like a two-for-one drink special or a boxful of beer, this bracingly strong collection may prove intoxicating.”
  • —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • ALWAYS HAPPY HOUR

    Stories

    Mary Miller

    Author of The Last Days of California

  • “Floating in the swimming pools and rivers of the American South, the cash-conscious, vice-ridden, anxiety-stricken narrators of Miller’s second short story collection (following her heralded debut novel The Last Days of California, 2014), might be many women, or just a single one, followed down a hallway of fun-house mirrors...The proximity to [Miller’s] characters that her crystalline, unfiltered prose allows…will draw readers in immediately, and entirely.” —Booklist, starred review

  • “Readers will find themselves riveted...The 16 stories in this collection…feel both homey and exotic, limning lives at once familiar and distinctly their own.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • “Stellar....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.” —Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review

  • “Mesmerizing and exactly rendered, and Miller reminds us that for many people, life is defined by hardship, surprise, and just getting by...Excellent reading.” —Library Journal

  • Brazen and biting, ALWAYS HAPPY HOUR is Mary Miller’s richly satisfying follow up to her acclaimed first novel, The Last Days of California.

  • Miller is an astute chronicler of young women on the edge, facing daunting decisions, while not always making the right choices. Her particular milieu is the contemporary South and in her new collection she populates each story with outspoken women clearly not of the debutante class.

  • Her characters aren’t ashamed to drink and have sex, don’t pretend to like work and only think about money when absolutely forced to by an empty fridge; they make poor decisions with men who either love them too much or too little, and they occupy a Southern terrain of gas stations, public pools and dive bars that evoke the rich, saturated colors of a William Eggleston photo.

  • A former Michener Fellow and John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence, Miller (a Mississippi native) is not just one of the strongest Southern voices writing today, but one of the most refreshing new talents in the American fiction scene.

  • Calling to mind Pam Houston and Bonnie Jo Campbell, ALWAYS HAPPY HOUR affirms that the praise for The Last Days of California was no fluke. Praise that included:

  • “[A] terrific first novel…Why worry about labeling a book this good? Just read it.” —Laurie Muchnick, The New York Times Book Review

  • “In vivid but unfussy prose, pitched perfectly to the attitudes and observations of a teenage girl adrift, Miller conveys how traveling inspires introspection and how, often on family vacations, a great deal of the ‘together’ time is spent alone in one's head….Throughout, Miller deftly steers the narrative away from cliché outcomes in favor of more nuanced, realistic family interactions.” —Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

  • “Miller never condescends; she has boundless empathy for her flawed characters and their quixotic journey. What results is a humane, funny, and genuinely unsettling coming-of-age story that falls somewhere between the tales of Flannery O’Connor and Terrence Malick’s film ‘Badlands’.” —Eugenia Williamson, The Boston Globe

  • “Miller portrays her characters…with an unwavering intensity…Miller’s prose bestows a magnetic beauty on gas-station bathroom stops, Waffle House lunches, and the cast of overfed, overstimulated travelers…A plangent portrait of American adolescence.” —Catherine Straut, ELLE

  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Mary Miller is the author of The Last Days of California and the short story collection Big World. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She lives in Gulfport, Mississippi.