Gateway To Paradise: Stories by Matthew VollmerGateway To Paradise: Stories by Matthew Vollmer

Gateway To Paradise: Stories

byMatthew Vollmer

Paperback | September 8, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 95 plum® points

Out of stock online

Not available in stores


In these gritty, imaginative stories set in the mountains and small towns of the South—often in motels, theme parks, or resorts—men and women find themselves at the mercy of an inspiration gone wrong: a man on a tryst is seduced by a ghost; a woman conducts a test to discover who is her true best friend—her husband or her dog; a beleaguered young writing professor goes one step too far while chaperoning the famous writer he finds darkly alluring.  In the title story, an ex-high-school basketball player living an uneventful life in her small hometown as a cashier helps her boyfriend rob a lottery winner, and finds herself on an epic journey of fear, deceit, and betrayal.
Matthew Vollmer is the author of Future Missionaries of America, a collection of stories, as well as Inscriptions for Headstones, a collection of essays. He is the editor of A Book of Uncommon Prayer, which collects invocations from over sixty acclaimed and emerging authors, and with David Shields is co-editor of Fakes; An Anthology of...
Title:Gateway To Paradise: StoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:September 8, 2015Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0892554665

ISBN - 13:9780892554669

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

A beautifully voiced, precise, hilarious, utterly serious, and extremely impressive book. — David Shields[The stories] have beginnings, middles, and ends. They are about love, family, and loss. They look like traditional stories, they sound like traditional stories, and if it quacks like a duck, I'm happy to report they are not, as [Vollmer] has now conjoined his two writing brain halves, his formal ease with tradition and an impulse to upset your applecart. There is little to nothing else like it. ...What works so well and uniquely in Gateway is the marriage of thought and behavior, thought and consequence. ... Prayer functions in the collection as a fantasy .... More interesting though, prayer is a place to go to, a safe (meta)physical space, and I've not previously come across the idea. ... More importantly, it's a place denied to the people of these stories. It's a place of religious disappointment ... Riley [in the title novella] is not denied access because she does not believe, but because she has something to hide, which might be another way of saying Riley is hiding from herself, running not just from the law, but from herself. ..."What choice did she have but to bury the secret deep, plant it like a bone in the dark?" Which, of course, makes for troubled lives?but compelling fiction. — The Brooklyn RailVollmer's collection is lyrical and honest…unique and character driven stories. — San Francisco Review of BooksThere's a certain wedge of the American South where mountains give way to idyllic college towns and tall tales give way to the ghosts that inspired them. It's the geographical confluence of truth and fiction, history and folklore, and Matthew Vollmer mines that rich terrain in Gateway to Paradise, a collection of short stories that follows disparate lives entangled in the Appalachians like vines of kudzu, tethered by secrets and stories. . . . Vollmer’s best stories have a ring of truth . . . . [his characters are] as distinct and magnetic as the region they inhabit. — Shelf AwarenessSurreal, grittily realistic, comic, and tragic at times, but always entertaining. Matthew Vollmer is a very talented writer, and all of that talent is on display in this exceptional collection. — Ron RashMatthew Vollmer’s sophomore collection of stories is bright, sharp, au courant, and thoroughly enjoyable: six stories, all of them well made and a little edgy... these stories are hip. They are hip to slang, to youth, to the sadness of trying to find one’s self and one’s place in life. They are also hip to love and loss and the fear everyone has ... of being alone.... Gateway to Paradise is fun to read and even more fun to think about after you’ve read it. — Kelly Cherry (Colorado Review)