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A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women
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A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women

4.49  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Fiction. The four chapbooks collected in A PECULIAR FEELING OF RESTLESSNESS, three of them finalists and one of them the winner of the Rose Metal Press first annual short short chapbook contest, all revel in the succinctness of their form, the underlying tension anchored beneath each story of 1,000 words or less. These stories are peculiar; they resonate with restlessness. ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 2nd 2008 by Rose Metal Press
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Feb 11, 2008 Debbie rated it it was amazing

I’ve been locked in my den with my bulldog while my stairwell is being painted. It was a good time to read a book titled. “A PECULIAR FEELING OF RESTLESSNESS.” I had read and loved Claudia Smith’s flash collection. Her voice is soft yet powerful and her stories of childhood and coming of age linger with you long after the read. I was very anxious to read the others, particularly Kathy Fish.

Like Claudia, Kathy Fish looks intently at childhood. Children center many of her stories, children who su
Aug 18, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing

Fantastic. They are as stated, short, short stories, so the inclination is to whip through them because they are such wonderful reads.

But, as is the case with most shorter works, savoring them and sitting with them a bit is ideal. Thus far I can only say this is a great collection of work. I am so glad I got this book.
Alina Stefanescu
May 09, 2016 Alina Stefanescu rated it it was amazing
I don't think I could love this book enough. Or maybe I did. Maybe I loved it so hard the spine cracked. And now I have to order another copy.
Jun 16, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the reasons I chose Rose Metal to publish the flash field guide. I love the innovative work that they are publishing and the way they present it. Putting the winner and three finalists into one book? Brilliant. Designing the running feet so that the little dingbats reflect what chapbook you are in? Wonderful detail.

My personal taste makes me appreciate Kathy Fish's and Claudia Smith's work more, but still, there are brilliant stories in the other two chapbooks, like Clark's "
May 27, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing
It's such a good book because the voices are so different, but all four writers write these funny, heartbreaking, smart, fast, well-detailed, odd and beautiful stories. I've already read the whole thing twice, and I'm sure I'll read it again.

It's fun to read, even when it's breaking your heart.
Kudos to all!

Apr 17, 2008 Pia rated it it was amazing
The four unique chapbooks that make up A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness are disarmingly, unabashedly intimate collections by women who know how to tell a story and aren’t afraid to drag the unspoken out into the light of day.
Simon A. Smith
This was a very good read. Four chapbooks by four very talented ladies. I sort of felt like I was getting a glimpse into the multi-layered, fragile and sometimes ferocious psyche of women here... and I must say it was equal parts enlightening, fascinating and scary, which are pretty much the ingredients for good fiction anyway.

I truly did like all of the collections that made up the book, but I think my favorite may have been Kathy Fish's "Laughter, Applause. Laughter, Music, Applause." First of
May 29, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
tiny little stories that cast huge shadows over everything. you might be hurtling through tunnels in new york city or driving along concrete highways in dallas and sentences stay with you, illuminating and making every crack in the sidewalk stand out. every lightpost with anti-war grafitti shine. overflowing public garbage cans become still-lifes. you get to elizabeth ellen's story, how the homeless funambulist and lonely somnambulist met and shared a melon, and you shut the book and take in the ...more
Feb 07, 2008 Kathy added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Review of A PECULIAR FEELING OF RESTLESSNESS by Paul D'Agostino at American Book Review:

Review at Quick Fiction:

Link to Time Out Chicago article by Jonathan Messinger:

Link to interview with Kelly Spitzer on the Quick Fiction website:

Link to interview with Rose Metal Press by Jim Ruland at Elegant Variation:
May 23, 2010 Tom rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of flash fiction, this book is essential. A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness collects in one volume four different short-short chapbooks from four different writers, all remarkably different, all remarkably adept at the craft. There isn't a weak one in the bunch. My very favorite is Kathy Fish's "Laughter, Applause, Laughter, Music, Applause," alone worth the price of the book. If J.D. Salinger wrote flashes, they'd be somewhat like hers. But this comparison might be doing her wo ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Jayne rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection of short fiction, full of intimacy and surprise. The characters, partuclarly the children, are ones that stay with a reader long after the last page is read. Highly recommend.
Jason Jordan
Nov 12, 2008 Jason Jordan rated it really liked it
This book is great, both in premise and execution, providing you enjoy short shorts. The authors' work varies, but their contributions fit together quite well. I can't say who my favorite is, though Claudia Smith technically won the chapbook contest.
Feb 07, 2008 Rusty rated it it was amazing
My gawrsh. I knew of the work of 3/4 of these women before beginning, so I expected, frankly, a lot, but I'm stunned by the intricacies of detail, disarming frankness, and altogether skilled prose in this book. If you want to see how words hit hearts, start here.
Feb 09, 2008 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
Please check out my review at Quick Fiction:

Apr 27, 2008 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Abby Beckel and I published this, so I'm biased, but this is a fantastic anthology.
Apr 22, 2008 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Really top notch collection featuring four of the best female writers in the small press world today. Elizabeth Ellen is, of course, an all-time favorite but Claudia Smith steals the show here. Wow.
Feb 29, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
These women can write! I really appreciated all these chapbooks together. These stories are treasures. I savored each piece in this book--and my heart kept breaking over and over.
Feb 08, 2008 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Stunning, mesmerizing, polished, perplexing little pieces of fiction. So good I rationed myself, reading just three per night.
May 15, 2008 Nan rated it it was amazing
This is a great compilation of short short stories by wonderful short short story writers. It's full of humor, hope, sorrow. Each piece is distilled to crystal clarity.
Apr 04, 2008 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Take this on the train with you. It'll make your life better.
Bud Smith
Nov 10, 2014 Bud Smith rated it really liked it
Great book. Kathy Fish's part was pretty incredible. Enjoyed it greatly.
Mar 13, 2011 Antonia rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
A very good collection — and how nice to get 4 chaps all in one volume. Brief, lively, enjoyable short-shorts. Definitely fun to read. And plenty of variety, across as well as within the 4 chapbooks. I've always loved short-shorts, but they're hard to do well. These are really excellent overall.

Sometimes I felt that a story seemed incomplete or somewhat pointless despite the wit. In some of these, I missed the sense of closure you get from a shot-short by, say, Pamela Painter.

I liked Kathy Fis
Jun 24, 2009 Craig rated it really liked it
Read as 4.5 or 4.75 stars.

A fantastic collection of short-shorts. (Which I am fond of, anyway) These three authors, while each having their own voice, blend together with a sort of -yes, restlessness - but in a sort of hushed melancholy way.

I wish I had time to type more tonight, but I have several reviews to add. If you're a fan of micro fiction, give this collection a read. You won't be disappointed.
Nov 14, 2012 Justin rated it liked it
Claudia Smith's "The Sky is a Well" is the gem of this collection. I was a bit disappointed by the other chapbooks, though Kathy Fish does have moments of brilliance in "Laughter, Applause, Laughter, Music, Applause."
Jun 17, 2008 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. Kudos to all involved.
Amy Gilchrist Thorne
Jun 16, 2008 Amy Gilchrist Thorne rated it really liked it
What can I say? I'm a sucker for good short-short stories.
Brian Foley
Apr 22, 2008 Brian Foley rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
This book was a good idea.
P. H.
Aug 10, 2009 P. H. rated it really liked it
Claudia Smith and Amy L. Clark. Yes.
Mary Louise
May 07, 2008 Mary Louise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Topnotch stories!
Aug 08, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing
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Amy L Clark's collection of stories, Adulterous Generation, is now out from Queen's Ferry Press. Amy has had fiction and nonfiction published in literary journals, including Hobart, Juked, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Action Yes Quarterly, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Litro. She works as a Writing Specialist for Northeastern University’s Foundation Year program.
More about Amy L. Clark...

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