Success: Stories

THE BOOK: Success: Stories


THE AUTHOR: David A. Taylor

THE PUBLISHER: Washington Writers’ Publishing House –

Success: Stories by [Taylor, David A.]SUMMARY: SUCCESS: STORIES is the 2008 winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House fiction prize. These stories probe the lives of people caught in an increasingly intertwined world, close to home and abroad. Exploring a human calculus of love, betrayal, and fantasy, this moving collection makes those dramas vivid.

THE BACK STORY: These stories came together over a decade when I worked various jobs in different cities, and came up often against people’s (and my own) ideas of what it meant to succeed. The stories are not about ambition exactly — few of the characters are ambitious — but their expectations reveal a lot.

WHY THIS TITLE? I wanted to play on “success story” and open it up to show the concept as a sort of prism of what each person brings to it, in their expectations of themselves or others.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: The stories give drama and perspective on the idea of success and how we view it in people’s lives. In the words of Publishers Weekly, the “14 lively tales…uncover gentle irony in the commonly held notion of a successful life.” StorySouth called the collection “Superbly-crafted tales…that explore the most vital crises of existence, when human emotions–desire and isolation, suspicion and jealousy–boil over… blooms in complexity every time the reader revisits it.”

David A. Taylor


“Gritty dialogue, lean prose, layered plotting, and an eye for the perfect detail make these stories a satisfying and engaging read”–Susan Muaddi Darraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home, winner of the 2016 American Book Award

“In 14 brilliant short stories, Taylor unpeels the lives and loves of ordinary people to reveal nuggets of extraordinary truths…Deceptively spare and absolutely unforgettable.” –Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World

“A book of fine stories”–Richard Bausch

“As strong as anything in the Raymond Carver playbook…”–Washington City Paper

“Like all the best stories, the tales in Success challenge our assumptions and make us look again at what we thought we knew.”–Kate Blackwell, author of You Won’t Remember This

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m a writer who crafts character-driven narratives that explore history, science and culture, with mediums ranging from books, articles and film to short fiction. Whether in fiction or nonfiction, my methods often combine oral history, original research and reporting. My short stories have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, and my nonfiction includes Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America and Ginseng, the Divine Root: The Curious History of the Plant That Captivated the World. My new book, coming in December, is a narrative nonfiction book titled Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II. Visit http://www,

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). The story “Pelagro’ previously appeared in Eclectica

LOCAL OUTLETS: Available at Politics and Prose:


PRICE: $9.99, or $5.99 for the Kindle edition

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: dataylor22314 [at]

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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