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Until We Have Faces

Until We Have Faces Short Stories

In a style reminiscent of John Cheever and Alice Munro, Michael Nye's second collection of stories, Until We Have Faces, contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of modern life, the uncertainty of knowledge and... more

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Overview

In a style reminiscent of John Cheever and Alice Munro, Michael Nye's second collection of stories, Until We Have Faces, contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of modern life, the uncertainty of knowledge and truth, the gulfs between people and the technology we use, the frailty of our economic lives—while underlining throughout the persistency of love. His consummate skill, penetrating wit, and unfailing emotional generosity are on full display in this fine new collection.

Michael Nye was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University, where he graduated with a BA in English Literature, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he...more

Reviews

"In this highly satisfying collection, Nye’s characters struggle to be seen and understood, but he reminds readers that love can overcome all."

Booklist

"Fans of Nye’s work will welcome this"

Publisher’s Weekly

"Michael Nye’s new story collection is inhabited by characters who are breaking up or breaking down, and, inevitably, breaking away from what had once been and surrendering to a new and often disillusioning normal. Whether it be a former NFL player settling into a a life of concussion-induced disability or a soldier-turned-chicken-turned-dog-farmer who must confront his own sense of justice, or a young woman revisiting her fifteen minutes of fame and seeing it in a new and less flattering light, Nye’s stories provoke a familiar sense of dismay. Yet, just when it seems nothing good can be salvaged from the mess these souls have made, there is a moment of illumination and hope. Until We All Have Faces is fiction for the here and now, for these days when the known has become the unknown and we all seek a new and better path forward.”

Angela Mitchell, author of Unnatural Habitats & Other Stories

“There is a grace and an ease to Nye’s latest collection. He interrogates everything from American sports culture to heartbreak to Midwestern sensibilities, always with earnestness and generosity. Like all masters of the form, Nye manages a remarkable sleight-of-hand: each story feels at once unique but also recognizable, like a dear friend you’ve lost touch with. These are stories with big hearts, and though they offer tremendous wisdom, it is often camouflaged with modesty, which is both refreshing and admirable. Readers who are weary of ironic and pessimistic fiction have been waiting for this collection.”

Brad Felver, award-winning author of The Dogs of Detroit

"I cannot remember the last time I read a collection wherein each story is so perfect—story lines, rising action, characterization, flow. Until We Have Faces harkens back to the perfect John Cheever stories, or those of Richard Yates. Yet these aren’t 'old-fashioned' stories. Backdrops of twenty-first century complexities fuel these gems."

George Singleton, author of You Want More: Selected Stories

"The stories in Michael Nye’s Until We Have Faces are heartbreaking testimonies to the lonely, disconnected lives of men and women who once knew authentic friendship, meaningful work and athletic victory, whose fragile dreams are dissolved by degrading work and manipulated images, addiction and imbalances of power. While Nye’s fearless vision of contemporary life is painfully detailed and unsparing, the hope of love burns at the center of this remarkable collection, and within each of its characters, an inextinguishable spark of redemptive memory.”

Melissa Pritchard, award-winning author of A Solemn Pleasure

"This collection floored me - Michael Nye knows these characters inside and out. From a retired NFL lineman battling the fallout from a career of concussions to a woman facing the reunion of a photoshoot that once captured the lives of Midwestern teens, these nine stories capture characters at precipices and breaking points, determining the next steps their lives might take from here. Nye's razor-sharp attention to these lives reveals their vulnerability, their flaws and wounds, and how human a desire it is to be seen and known."

Anne Valente, author of The Desert Sky Before Us

“The characters in Michael Nye’s brilliant collection all fight against a central question: what is so tragic about being unremarkable? Their dashed desires become their fuel, their desperation becomes their hope. Home, identity, race, love, loss—these themes reverberate in stories full of yearning, on paths toward selfhood marked by fragmentation. To step into the lives portrayed in Until We Have Faces is to feel, as one character notes, released from a cage after a long incarceration. We believe in their resilience because it is our resilience.”

Carolyn Ferrell, award-winning author of Don’t Erase Me