Virginia Pye, Shelf Life of Happiness

Virginia Pye reads and discusses her new collection with novelist Lindsay Hatton.

In these bittersweet, compelling stories, Virginia Pye's characters in Shelf Life of Happinesslong for that most-elusive of states: happiness. A young skateboarder reaches across an awesome gap to reconnect with his disapproving father; an elderly painter executes one final, violent gesture to memorialize his work; a newly married writer battles the urge to implode his happy marriage; and a confused young man falls for his best friend's bride and finally learns to love. In each case, Pye's characters aim to be better people as they strive for happiness--and some even reap the sweet reward of achieving it.

"Shelf Life of Happiness is remarkable. Virginia Pye writes with a sharp eye and a compassionate heart. Sly, insightful, and vivid, these are some of the best stories I have read in years. These tales amaze with their yearning, with their wisdom, and with their love." –Jennifer Finney Boylan

"These are terrific stories. The deep surprises their characters keep offering each other show a rare understanding of human nature. From a dying man's marriage to a small town's mysterious murders, the emergencies of ordinary life illuminate this book. A joy to read." --Joan Silber 

“The characters in Virginia Pye’s Shelf Life of Happiness experience their lives as a tangle they urgently need to understand before it’s too late. They’re experts on how to keep their hearts in reserve . . . . yet all they want is to access the appreciative tenderness that’s waiting for them within their best selves.  These are deft and moving stories.” –Jim Shepard

Virginia Pye is the author of two award-winning novels, Dreams of the Red Phoenix and River of Dust, and Shelf Life of Happiness. Her stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in The North American ReviewThe Baltimore ReviewLiterary HubThe New York TimesThe RumpusHuffington Post and elsewhere. She lived in Richmond, Virginia, for many years and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Shelf Life of Happiness Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781941209820
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Press 53 - October 9th, 2018

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