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Living Arrangements: Stories Paperback – November 30, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laura Maylene Walter is the recipient of many awards, including the 2010 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, as judged by Robert Olen Butler; Ohioana Library Association's Walter Rumsey Marvin grant, awarded annually to an Ohio writer age 30 or under; and Washington College's Sophie Kerr Prize, the nation's largest undergraduate literary award. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poets & Writers, The Writer, Inkwell, American Literary Review, Ohioana Quarterly, Flyway, Crab Creek Review, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere, and her novel-in-progress, Opal, was named a runner-up in the 2010 James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Most recently, she is the author of LIVING ARRANGEMENTS (BkMk Press, 2011). Laura grew up in Lancaster, PA, and has resided in the Cleveland area since 2004. She works as an editor of a trade magazine and lives with her husband and their two cats in Lakewood, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; First Edition edition (November 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886157804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886157804
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,340,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laura Maylene Walter’s “Living Arrangements” won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction for obvious reasons: the characters within each story deserve your admiration, patience, sympathy, etc.; Walter’s ability to keep you interested (and guessing!) is admirable; every story is well-written and teeming with exquisite moment after startling moment after brilliant moment.

This collection opens with the clever title story and closes with the beautifully sentimental “Return to Stillbrook Farm.” Both of these stories bookend the stories in between with a certain type of elegance. To put it simply, the collection starts on a high note and ends on a high note.

Crack open this book (read: crack open this book as soon as you can!) and expect to meet a variety of intriguing characters. I was especially enamored by the main character in “Live Model,” who hesitantly models lingerie at the request of her boss, even though this character very well knows that she doesn’t have the looks or the body to be standing in front of that glass window. “The Ballad Solemn of Lady Malena” tells the story of an Olympic-bound ice skater named Annabelle whose late night in a hotel room with a stranger goes awry—awkwardly and quickly, at that. One of my favorites, “The Last Halloween,” is a page-turner through and through. The main character has dressed as Sylvia Plath for the holiday, and readers can’t help but feel as frustrated as this poor little girl when she goes from house to house and has to explain who she is before, eventually, she gives up and just decides to hold up a copy of Plath’s “Ariel.” The story twists and turns in a devastating and lovely fashion, so what you expect to happen is likely what’s not going to happen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories are thought-provoking and beautifully written, carefully exploring the passions, struggles and memories of the central characters. The themes unfold naturally, with a deft touch and humor. Each story is savored and remembered long after finishing it. Laura Walter is very talented and has a bright future.
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Format: Paperback
This book is like...well an old Gershwin tune that has specific personal memoires attached. Once you read the stories you will never quite be able to get them out of your mind. The title piece recollects places the narrator has lived over her life (and I guarantee you will be doing the same thing). I played my brother's clarinet, so that story rings uncomfortably true.

Some like, "The Ballad Solemn of Lady Malena" and "The Last Haloween" are harrowing pieces you want to skip over, but can't; whereas "The Second Rule of Yoga" lists questions all of us have but are too ashamed to ask.

Laura Maylene Walter is not like any other short story writer I am familiar with. You almost feel, as a reader, you are writing the content. It connects that well. I couldn't put Living Arrangements down. My only wish is that it were my name as author on the cover.

John Lehman, Rosebud Book Reviews.com
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Surprising stories. Were very easy to read even if the subjects can be hard to experience. An inspiration to new writers.
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