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.
"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 Review, The Baltimore Review, Literary Hub, The New York Times, The Rumpus, Huffington Post and elsewhere. She lived in Richmond, Virginia, for many years and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.