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October 2003
184 pages  

6 x 9
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Speed-Walk and Other Stories
Greenberg, Suzanne
Winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, selected by Rick Moody, this collection contains vignettes about people struggling with the cascading effects of seemingly inconsequential mistakes.

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Suzanne Greenberg is the coauthor of Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Mississippi Review, The Washington Post Magazine, and West Branch. She is an associate professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, where she lives with her husband and children.
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Drue Heinz Literature Prize
Fiction/Drue Heinz
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The characters in Speed-Walk and Other Stories often find themselves dislocated, living in places that do not resemble or feel like home. Their lives have somehow been turned on their axes, and often they cannot comprehend why. The stories in this stunning debut collection are united by their protagonists' common quest to make sense of the world, to bring it into focus, to set it right, to adapt. In selecting Suzanne Greenberg's fiction for the 2003 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Rick Moody wrote, “A charge sometimes leveled against contemporary fiction these days is that it has abrogated its responsibility to depict civilization as it actually exists. . . . Speed-Walk replies forcefully to this aesthetic error by locating its protagonists in completely recognizable environments. . . . [They] are ever engaged by the routines of American life: walking the dog, eating at the sushi bar, doing the laundry.” Tightly written yet realistically spare, these stories provide a blueprint for survival when the unexpected is thrust into an ordinary life.
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“Greenberg’s characters and the crises they go through are enigmatic and unique.”—Booklist, October 2003

“If you enjoy reading quiet, contemplative pieces that take an intimate look at another person’s everyday life, you’re in for a treat.”—Christina Cann, Pitt News, October 7, 2003

"When Emily Dickinson exhorted us to ‘tell it slant,’ she couldn’t have imagined angles of perception as oblique and corked as those in Suzanne Greenberg’s hilarious and heart-breaking collection. . . . A confident, strong, and utterly unique writer."—Michael Collier

"In this original and stunning collection, Suzanne Greenberg writes about people who have been blindsided by life and are straining to understand how they have landed in places they don’t seem to belong. . . . A harrowing tightrope of humor and pathos." —Cai Emmons

[Greenberg] might be best described as a visual eavesdropper who uses her imagination to describe and inhabit her characters’ lives. . . . Her attention to detail is mirrored by her ability to find stories in ordinary situations.”—Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nov. 1, 2003

“The remarkable and heartening debut of a major new voice in [fiction]. —Cornel Bonca, Orange County Weekly, 1/23/04

“Poignant and yet occasionally comical. . . .her stories are a juxtaposition of the melancholy and the mundane, with a little of the absurd thrown in.” —Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, ForeWord Magazine, Spring Announcements 2004

“A brilliantly meandering literary landscape populated by characters grappling with a sudden sense of disassociation with things as intimate as their homes, spouses, and children.”—Chad Greene, U-Pasadena Star News 4/20/04


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