Books

PRAYING DRUNK, a collection of stories and questions

Praying Drunk is available at your local bookstore, and from Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble, Powell’s, Indiebound, and Target, and for adding to your Goodreads library. It is also the November 2013 selection of the Rumpus Book Club, whose members received a special pre-release limited edition copy.

Praying Drunk CoverThe stories in Praying Drunk originally appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial, and other magazines and anthologies. 

RUMPUS Book Club Selection

American Booksellers Association Winter Institute Selection

Kirkus Starred Review

Flavorwire Most Anticipated Books of 2014 Selection

Flavorwire 10 Must-Read Books for February 2014

BUZZFEED 15 Highly Anticipated Books

Guest of a Guest Winter Reading List 2014 Selection

“When the characters residing in Kyle Minor’s engrossing and lively Praying Drunk find a toehold on the good life, I hope that it’s autobiographical. When the characters find themselves enveloped in desperate situations, irreversible circumstances, and despair, I pray that it’s solely out of the writer’s imagination. These fine stories–up there with the best works of Padgett Powell, Donald Barthelme, and Robert Coover–never straddle a milquetoast fence: they’re extreme in humor, extreme in sorrowfulness, and 100% individually-wrapped masterpieces. I am haunted and mesmerized by this collection.”
- George Singleton, author of Stray Decorum

“Praying Drunk gets the whole thing down: the cosmic muck and the local glory, the big questions and the tiny lives, the bullies and the saviors, the screaming at the sky and the lights by the side of the road late at night on a long drive. I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby.”
- Daniel Handler, author of Adverbs and The Basic Eight

“Watch Praying Drunk’s lovely, lonely people wrestle with Minor’s dark God and remember when you too tried to reason with Him and unravel His mysterious commands. These passionate tales, full of longing and daring and honesty, will disturb and inspire you.”
- Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution

“Similar to a great magic trick, the 13 stories in Minor’s (In the Devil’s Territory) latest lure reader investment with strong visuals while simultaneously pulling the rug out from underfoot with clever, literary sleights–of-hand. Though not necessarily linked in the traditional sense, there is a sequential order to the collection—ideas, locations, incidents, and characters echo as the volume chugs forward—and the result is an often dazzling, emotional, funny, captivating puzzle.”Publishers Weekly

“Praying Drunk is set in the immediate aftermath of the death of God, when each of us is forced to take responsibility for our own actions and thoughts and ways of being in this world. I can’t think of a tougher challenge a writer could give himself or another book since the Duino Elegies that succeeds so spectacularly in excavating the terror of personal freedom. Kyle Minor’s characters carry the unenviable but glorious burden, one we all share, of being all too human.” - Andrew Ervin, author of Extraordinary Renditions

“Sublime.” The Rumpus

“Brilliant.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Before the clock strikes midnight to close the book on 2013, we’re going to make the prediction that 2014 will be the year when literary folk won’t be able to stop talking about Kyle Minor’s masterfully written collection of stories.” - Flavorwire

“Reading a Kyle Minor story feels like watching a Coen Brothers film: you have no idea where you’re being led, but you know it’s going to be good.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Minor] aims his flashlight in the dark places we make extraordinary efforts to avoid.”– Bookslut

“Kyle Minor’s new collection, Praying Drunk, has already made its claim for being one of the year’s best books. The stories contained within it recount wrenching stories of families in turmoil, faith challenged, and nations in upheaval. Structurally inventive and equally adept at realism and the surreal, Minor’s new book is a stunning work of literature.”
Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Minor’s book is one of the most thought-provoking, intelligently designed story collections I’ve seen in some time, and the discussions he starts—about life, about art, about the boundaries and limitations of genre—are ones scholars and writers alike will be discussing for quite some time, and with good reason.” - Barnes & Noble Book Blog 

“Darkly funny, fiercely energetic, and unapologetically sincere.” - Harvard Crimson

“Remarkable writing which maintains the illusion of moving forward, even as it shows us the chasm below.” - Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Even though Praying Drunk might be classified as experimental, it is also a page turner. I read it quickly, in an almost hallucinatory daze, which is also why the title seems so apt.” - Fiction Writers’ Review

“Terrific collection.” - Boston Globe

“A dark collection of intelligent stories that will break your heart over and over again.” - Buzzfeed

IN THE DEVIL’S TERRITORY, a collection of stories and novellas

Buy In the Devil’s Territory at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Dzanc Books.

devilcoverfinalIn the Devil’s Territory is a brilliant and electrifying debut from one of America’s best young writers. Filled with grace and wisdom, Kyle Minor’s bold, compassionate stories burn deep into the eternal mysteries and violent truths of the human experience with the force of a welding torch cranked to the max. I would walk through Hell to be able to write like him.”
- Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff

“Who is Kyle Minor and how does he know so much about the dark caverns of the human heart? What whispered spells does he cast to make me laugh and weep and gasp and clench my jaw all in the same page? From what secret river does he pull his sentences, glittering and sinuous? Faced with such captivating writing, I have only amazed questions—because Kyle Minor has all the answers.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of Refresh, Refresh and Red Moon

“In the Devil’s Territory is an extravagantly good book. Dealing with the uneasy transactions people make in family and companionship, its six stories chart the wide scope of human possibility, from brutality to complicated redemption, and achieve a precise, crucial compassion. Kyle Minor’s talent is rich and deep, and this book will not soon be forgotten.”
—Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard

“Kyle Minor writes hellbent, heartbroken fiction that is lyrical and gritty at once. Whether his subject is the recklessness of youth or an old woman’s wrecked life, he remains uncannily attuned to the disturbances of the human heart. Minor’s an extraordinary young writer, not to be missed.”
—Edward Falco, author of The Family Corleone

“‘The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Party,’ which opens the collection, is Minor at his best–a powerful story about a man overcome with guilt, worry and resentment as the health of his wife and their unborn child hangs in the balance. Minor has a knack for capturing melancholy and establishing empathy for his book’s many wayward characters.”
- Publishers Weekly

“In Kyle Minor’s dark debut collection of stories, personal secrets always exact a terrible price — sometimes worse than the events that motivated them. In the novella “A Day Meant To Do Less” — violent, agonizing, and the centerpiece of this collection — nine-year-old Franny gets assaulted in the tobacco fields near her Kentucky home. She is chased, pushed, pissed on, forced to take her older cousin’s penis in her mouth. She grows up, tells no one, buries it deep. But as Minor shows in fantastic, horrifying detail, buried truths can bubble up in strange, nightmarish ways.”
- Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Phoenix

“Throughout this striking collection, we are reminded that everyone harbors a secret life, in one way or another. The stories live beyond the page, make you look around, in classrooms and grocery stores and churches, in living rooms and across kitchen tables. They make you wonder what people need to confess but cannot—and if they did, could we bear to hear it?”
- Jason Skipper, Third Coast

“Minor performs magic with point of view, and he knows that if you describe a thing precisely enough you can make it not just real but tragic . . . Minor is ambitious in ways that seem too risky to succeed, but the stories do succeed.”
- Alice Mattison, The Yale Review

“There’s a certain kind of story that, rightly or wrongly, is associated with college writing programs: polite, restrained, limited in scope and often concerned with subjects close to the experience of the young writer. Kyle Minor, who received a master’s degree in creative writing last year from Ohio State University and became a visiting writer at the University of Toledo, barrels right through the stereotype. The six stories collected for In the Devil’s Territory are bold, diverse, complex and shockingly memorable . . . The range is impressive. Even more impressive is the thoughtfulness with which Minor explores the limits of our understanding of ourselves and one another; and the compassion that sometimes, briefly, reaches across those limits.”
- Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch

Minor’s voice lands somewhere between William Faulkner and Stephen King.
- Sean Carman, New Pages

“The Roman dramatist Terence wrote, “Nothing human is alien to me.” It seems Kyle Minor shares his credo. No one is beyond the reach of his unsentimental compassion.”
-Susannah Rickards, The Short Review

a great strength of Minor’s (and he has many) — he doesn’t shy away from excavating the darkest realms, the most off-limits ideas, those thoughts that make their way across our brains that we never, never admit to having to anyone else, and are only barely able to admit to ourselves.

-Bookslut

THE OTHER CHEKHOV, an anthology of Anton Chekhov stories, edited with Okla Elliott

Chekhov

The Other Chekhov is an anthology of Anton Chekhov’s lesser-known masterpieces, including “Gusev,” “The Murder,” and “The Two Volodyas,” and featuring introductory pieces (essays, criticism, comix, and fiction) from writers including Pinckney Benedict, Benjamin Percy, Jeff Parker, Fred Chappell, and Christopher Coake. The volume was selected and edited by Okla Elliott and Kyle Minor.

Praise for The Other Chekhov:

“The ten stories in this collection are varied examples of the richness of Chekhov’s craft and his genius, which are by turns subversive, humanistic, sociological, terrifying, and scathingly humorous.” — Thomas E. Kennedy, author of The Copenhagen Quartet

“Elliott and Minor have given us Anton Chekhov as many of us know him and love him. As usual there is nothing romanticized. Everything is written in a style that is sparse and cool. Chekhov stays true to his refusal to give more than the mildest pity to his characters, many of whom are ignorant and foolish but still have a certain dignity, a certain humanity that deserves more than what happens to them in the course of their meager, often petty lives. As he said in a letter to a friend written in 1892: “When you portray miserable wretches and unlucky people and want to stir the reader to compassion, try to be cooler.” — Duff Brenna, author of Too Cool

“It isn’t only Chekhov that’s the draw in this anthology. Elliott and Minor explain that they ‘invited ten contemporary writers to introduce one story each, in any way they like.’  The result is a variety of approaches that the editors sum up as  ‘personal essays, critical essays, imagined Chekhovian narratives, [and a] comic strip.’  Not your usual fare.” — Miriam Kotzin, Per Contra

“This is a smart project, and one that helps to reclaim Chekhov from those folks who would beat us to death with the ‘requirement’ of quotidian detail and plotting. Chekhov, this book tells us, was just as obsessed with the strange and outre as most of the rest of us.” — Pinckney Benedict, author of Town Smokes and Dogs of God

“Reading The Other Chekhov, we are reminded, story after story, of Chekhov’s mastery of the techniques and possibilities of the short story. But this book is not only the stories. The introductions, with the variety of their approaches and their original commentaries, deepen our own insights and appreciation of Chekhov’s accomplishments and their legacy for all writers.” — Walter Cummins, The Literary Review

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