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T. M. McNally
Powerful and starkly honest stories from the 2004 short-fiction winner of the Michigan Literary Fiction Award


From the author of Until Your Heart Stops and Almost Home, Quick is T. M. McNally's new collection of powerful and starkly honest stories of American life.

Set in the modern Southwest, the stories in Quick are complex, sometimes fierce, always unafraid of the dark truths many of the lives here are forced to confront. Dense and layered, these miniature and compact sagas endow their often damaged characters with uncommon brilliance. Themes of love, loss, addiction, and courage roam freely throughout, and the author sets an unforgettable and palpable tone that is exceedingly spare yet faceted with views of the richness beneath the surface of everyday life.

T. M. McNally is the winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for short fiction. He is the author of a collection of stories, Low Flying Aircraft, which received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novels Until Your Heart Stops and Almost Home. Recipient of a Smart Family Foundation Award from the Yale Review, he also has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Howard Foundation at Brown University. He teaches at Arizona State University and lives in Scottsdale with Sally Ball and their three children.

Praise / Awards

  • "Like good blues, these stories don't strain but seem to erupt from the heart, organic as blood."
    —Ann Cummins, author of Red Ant House

  • "Quick careens from one situation to another with crystal clear precision before it stops on a dime at the end. Readers can be cautioned to buckle their seatbelts. The ride is not bumpy, but there may be unexpected turbulence."
    —Constance Alexander

  • "Quick is as bold as it is breakneck, part battle and part sermon, fiction meant for high ground and high heaven."
    —Lee K. Abbott, author of Wet Places at Noon

  • "T. M. McNally's stories are compact, complex, artful and truthful miracles of humanity and language—strong coffee for these narcoleptic times."
    —Pam Houston, author of Waltzing the Cat

  • "Even though most of his new stories are set in wide-open, sun-beamed Arizona, there doesn’t seem to be enough light or oxygen in McNally’s fictional universe. It’s stiflingly hot outside and freezing inside, and his narrators, tense and intense characters who are weathering the worse [sic] that seemingly ordinary lives have to offer, are short of breath, confiding their wrenching stories as quickly as possible to try to ameliorate the pain. But the very fact that they’re talking is indicative of their bid for survival, and for all their drastic woes—and McNally does concoct excruciating predicaments involving suicide, cancer, madness, incest, addiction, betrayals, appalling accidents, and vicious violence—these astutely crafted tales are spiked with lancing one-liners and sanguine irony that balance grimness with humor, absurdity with concisely phrased yet deeply resonant truths. The author of three previous, equally bracing works, including Almost Home (1998), McNally remains sharply attuned to the resiliency of young people dealt a lousy hand, but here he also offers galvanizing studies in jeopardized marriages, including the complexly beautiful 'To Comfort.'"

  • ". . . his stories are universal in their reach across the miles and years to anyone who has ever felt a deep loss or the panic of being lost on a treacherous path toward discovering their own sense of self."
    Grand Rapids Press

  • "These dense, dark stories, set mostly in the Southwest, show fractured characters struggling just to survive. In the strongest selections, McNally starts with ripples of dysfunction and then edges into the hollow of pain where they began. But while McNally articulates despair with deadly accuracy, he occasionally musters some dryly humorous postmodern optimism."
    New York Times Book Review

Look Inside

Copyright © 2004, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 216pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2004
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11452-8

Add to Cart
  • $29.00 U.S.

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