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Still Life with Plums: Short Stories

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Still Life with Plums is a vibrant collection of short stories that weaves together the outwardly distant lives of several strangers. With heaping doses of dark humor and magical realism, these ten stories enliven a cast of characters carefully speckled throughout the southern portion of the United States. From West Virginians, to Texans and Latinos, Still Life with Plums ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Vandalia Press
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jv poore
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Still Life With Plums is a collection of short stories wherein Ms. Manilla shatters a couple of commonly held, preconceived notions. I am fairly knowledgeable in the literary world. I know the lingo. A short story is like a novel, it has a beginning, middle, and an end, like a novel does; it is just…..shorter.

I treasure short story and essay collections for those times when there is but a small, stingy window of opportunity to read. Particularly, I love that I can enjoy just a little bit, then
Laura Bentley
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short story collections like poetry collections are full of stand-alone pieces that can enchant and haunt you. Sometimes it's one single image or one event that captures your imagination. In STILL LIFE WITH PLUMS, Manilla takes you from West Virginia to Texas and beyond as you travel with her and merge into the intricate lives of her vibrant and dark characters. "The Wife You Wanted" plays on your emotions as the narrator bravely confronts her past head-on when she goes to a funeral home and "ta ...more
Christina St Clair
Wonderful gritty collection. Well developed characters. Fascinating stories with interesting twists. Highly recommend.
Emily O
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was loaned this book by the niece of the author. When I finally finished it, I sat back and thought, "Wow. That was really well written...and a little depressing."

Still Life with Plums came as a shock to my system since I purposely seek literature and films to provide happy endings to a stressful life. This book is true life instead of the fantasy.

The collection of short stories reminds me of Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find. The characters are well developed to the point that I
Trevor Craig
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a nice little collection of short stories. They kept me very much interested during the read, however after finishing the book only one or two of the stories actually stood out to me. I can't say I disliked it, nor say anything negative about her skill as a writer, but for me it was forgettable.
Sabne Raznik
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
In this book, we meet each character at a crux, a devastating realisation. Well written and dark, this book portrays a deep understanding of humanity, but a profound lack of hope in it.
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing group of stories that made me laugh, gave me both shivers and chills, and kept me reading until I was through them all. Stories I will remember and come back to I'm sure.
Craig Spraggon
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The wife you wantedis one of the best shortbstories I've ever read. Sadly I couldn't connect with any of the others
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Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, and other journals. Her novels include The Patron Saint of Ugly (2014), and Shrapnel (2012), which won the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Still Life with Plums: Short Stories (2010), was a finalist for both the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Rev ...more

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