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Joy: And 52 Other Very Short Stories

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Widely celebrated, McGraw returns with her strongest collection yet, stories that will haunt you and amuse you and are impossible to forget.

Claire Messud described Erin McGraw’s last collection of stories as “At once laugh-out-loud funny and utterly serious, [exploring] life’s profundity through its details.” This is even more true with McGraw’s new collection, Joy.

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Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Counterpoint
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3.76  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Krutika Puranik
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Joy and 52 other very short stories.
Thank you for sending this gorgeous book @counterpointpress 🌻
There's something hauntingly beautiful about this book which stays with you like an aftertaste of a bittersweet drink. Joy is a collection of 53 short stories written by Erin McGraw who has succeeded in reaching out to the readers in her attempt at sparking joy. The stories are not the usual kind and yet you can almost relate to few of them and that says something about the author's superb writing
Juliana Gray
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These stories are so short you might be tempted to devour them like chips, but I found them so powerful that I had to slow down and read only one or two a day. Some stories are funny; some are dark; some are devastatingly sad. All contained characters who felt achingly true to life. This is how the short monologue is done.
Short, sharp, and poignant, with a strong focus on relationships and family dynamics, death and dying, and the crippling impact of the decisions we make, Erin's stories are charming and alarming, but also quite forgettable due to their brevity. Three to four pages a piece, they don't live long enough on the page to leave a lasting impression.

(one of my Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2019:
Heidi Nibbelink
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the way McGraw treats all her characters with empathy, no matter how unlikable they are or how questionable their decisions may be. There was a lot to admire in this collection, but reading it helped clarify that I ultimately find flash fiction unsatisfying. The endings came far to soon in 3/4 of the stories--which I get is the point but I just wanted more, because the characters and the situations they were in were so compelling.

Yeah, so, fan of McGraw's writing, not a fan so much of
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

JOY AND 52 OTHER VERY SHORT STORIES by Erin McGraw is a short story collection with a focus on ‘short’. This book took me a while to get through – not because I wasn’t enjoying the stories, but because each of the 53 stories packs a lot into just a few pages.

The cover is at once cheerful with that bright yellow cover and also a little sad as the flower is wilting and falling apart. Similarly, these are tales where joy and humor is mixed with pain and sadness. The protagonists are incredibly vari
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Misleading title, and not in a fun way. Not much Joy to be found here...
Callie Stockman
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I love super short stories and I think she did a great job overall. There were maybe a third where the short story format did not work for her. There was too much left unsaid. Also, there was one that I was reading and I had about half a glass of wine and it was so odd I honestly wondered if I was drunk. It really was just that weird.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars (to the extent stars matter, which isn't much imo). I really love the premise of this book: 53 short stories no more than a few pages each, providing a diverse array of slice-of-life vignettes about characters with vastly different lives. The universal messiness of humanity strings them together. It takes a lot of skill to convey enough information in just two or three pages that the reader feels like they have a sense of the character and their life, and McGraw is great at it. The onl ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite example of the short story genre. I could barely believe how vivid the characters with so little time at her disposal. Brava Erin.
Victoria Wood
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
JOY: And 52 Other Very Short Stories by Erin McGraw did indeed “spark joy” for me!

McGraw gives us such beautifully written stories where we meet narrators from different backgrounds. They are given the opportunity to share bits of their life with us, and have their voices heard. You will meet a narrator you know in these stories. Whether it’s a parent, child, sibling, spouse, criminal, victim, a husbands girlfriend, the aged rock-and-roller…and more.

For full review -
J. Bill
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection. Look for my full review soon in The Englewood Review
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Amazing work.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: shortstories
This suffered from the law of diminishing returns for me, but the first story, America, is worth checking out the book from your local library.
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It comes again, that feeling that will not be commanded or contained or even named. The bobwhite, the thick scent: The pleasure of this moment obliterates thought. Quivering, shapeless emotion spills and floods out of me. I'm surprised the lizard at my feet isn't washed away. Maybe this is grief. Who cares what we call it? Joy comes in waves, and will not hear no."
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
A great collection of short stories! Poignant and driving at the heart of the human condition, the writing was so good! Planning to read more of this author’s work. Quote from the story “Job”- “...everyday is ground glass in the soul.”
Apr 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very misleading title. Did not bring joy, nor did these stories spur on joy. Very sad, but very easy read.
Writing is fine and most of the stories were good. 52 stories ended up being too much, though. By the last 40-50 pages, I felt burned out.
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