Stealing Cherries

THE BOOK: Stealing Cherries

 PUBLISHED IN: November 2013

THE AUTHOR:  Marina Rubin


: Manic D Press

SUMMARY: 74 heart-rending stories, each in 150 to 300 words. This is literature with an adrenaline rush – each story has a plot, a conflict, a lesson, humor, and a spectrum of characters. Who are they? A family of five arrives at JFK with no English and two suitcases per person. Women searching for love at a local Jewish center with the same zest as in a Jamaican nudist colony. Strippers spending $3000 on underwear. They are looking for jobs, they wear bunny slippers to work, they have sex in the office under the scrutiny of security cameras. These characters are all too human, too familiar, too flawed, and just glamorous enough to be endearing and unforgettable.

THE BACK STORY: I had written three books of poetry and the last one had surpassed even my own expectations in terms of craft, i called it Logic. But when it came out no one cared, poetry was like a corset, constricting and archaic. I made the only logical decision – not to write again. I roamed the city looking for meaning, for a new kind of logic, reading quotes from miniature books in the gardening section until I stumbled on a line from Joseph Campbell “the goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe.” I looked around, the year was 2007, what was happening in the universe? Facebook. The IPhone just came out. The screen got so much smaller. The attention span shrunk to a couple of hundred words. That’s when it hit me – I am going to write desperately short stories, 300 words or so, a mini Babel, a shrunken Chekhov, it will have a plot and a conflict. I remembered the lesson I learned in my creative writing class – in order to write well, write what you know. What did I know? A family of five arrive from Ukraine with no English and two suitcases per person. College boys celebrate their first Shabbat and the two schlimazels forget to turn off the lights. Young women looking for love at the ESL classes, The book, Stealing Cherries, practically wrote itself and sold itself too, there was a fellowship, sold-out venues, the book tour, customers lined up for an autographed copy. There were two older women who approached the table and one said: “Forgive me please, I hope you don’t find me rude but I think your book is perfectly timed for the bathroom.” Her friend objected: “but what if you are constipated?” “So you just read two or more!” the first one replied. “We’ll take three books each, please sign,” the two women sang. Now that was the kind of logic I could understand.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Stealing Cherries is considered a leader in short attention span literature


For the flash-fiction fan, ADD-suffering reader or David Sedaris admirer: Marina Rubin’s collection of micro-stories, hits all the right notes with its humor, mild perversity and warmth…Poetic, punchy and packed with vignettes, Stealing Cherries will pop your brain…”

–Coachella Valley Independent

 “The flash stories are a veritable bushel of stolen cherries, each one is a delight to read, sweet and best enjoyed in bunches. A slight bitterness follows, we’re too old to enjoy stolen cherries, too grownup to snatch virgin fruit and eat it with unconscious abandon, but the memory of the taste, and the echoes within these stories are still delightful to carry within us afterwards.”
–Nano Fiction

 “Rubin is a new voice on the scene and her collection of flash fiction was a revelation…Her writing has such a sharp focus that she successfully captures an event and mood in very few words. While these funny, strange, off-beat works are called fiction, the ones written in the first person read like autobiography. Rubin does an excellent job capturing small, sometimes shocking, moments…”

The Reporter

“…its intimate clash of cultures, political and economic antagonisms, and transgressive sexualities are never very far from the surface of these sometimes nostalgic, sometimes bittersweet, often sensual fictions.”

— Urban Graffiti

“Like Russian-born novelists Gary Shteyngart, Lara Vapnyar and David Bezmozgis, Marina Rubin mines her immigrant experience for her fiction, uncovering the universal. Her writing is sparse and precise, yet also lush, with long sentences packed full of life, drama and artistry…”

Jewish Week

AUTHOR PROFILE: Marina Rubin was born in the small town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. Her family immigrated to United States in 1989 seeking asylum. Her first chapbook Ode to Hotels(2002) was followed by Once(2004) and Logic(2007). Her work had appeared in over seventy magazines and anthologies including 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM, Nano Fiction, Coal  City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish, the Tribeca literary and art magazine. Her work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and again in 2012. She is a 2013 recipient of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship. Her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories Stealing Cherries was released in November 2013 from Manic D Press and is available on Amazon, B&N and other booksellers nationwide. Her website is

SAMPLE CHAPTER:  link to amazon:

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Manic D Press

PRICE: $14.95

Fan page for Stealing Cherries

Link to photos from Readings and Public Appearances:

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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