This week’s other featured books, “Putting Out,” by Samantha Mann and “Free Fire Zone,” by Dennis Maulsby, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.
THE BOOK: What Are the Chances?
PUBLISHED IN: 2020
THE AUTHOR: Robert Scotellaro
THE EDITOR: Kevin Morgan Watson and Claire Foxx
THE PUBLISHER: Press 53
SUMMARY: What Are the Chances? is a collection of flash and micro fiction that shines a slanted light on the high wire act of human existence. These 68 tiny tales, as in life, combine those malleable moments annealed into an absorbing mix, both humorous and unsettling.
THE BACK STORY: I’m a writer of flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words) and this is my fifth book working in that very short evocative genre. Much of my focus, with humor and pathos, explores the varied, and often elaborate, “adjustments” and “creative repairs” people make under the weight of daily living. A scramble for the exits is one strategy, acceptance, another. But more often in abundance is that tricky territory between.
WHY THIS TITLE: With this collection I was intrigued with the notion of how mercurial life can be: good luck/bad luck—timing—as depicted in the title story, What Are the Chances?
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I hope they see that flash fiction can be short yet not slight. And, how small telling details, what is said, and not said (that dwell between the lines) can be vital in very short form fiction. How detail and allusion can form a compact between writer and reader, expanding the breath of a
piece exponentially to a deeper understanding of what is at stake. The borders of flash fiction can be flexible way beyond a small word count, and immensely resonant and satisfying.
“Dip into What Are the Chances? for lightning-quick glimpses into the human soul: an eldercare worker with an uncanny ability to finish sentences, an alluring woman in a squid mask, a couple who make love in front of funhouse mirrors, skateboarders in an empty swimming pool, a mockingbird making a fuss with a throat full of stolen music, a hit man in retirement. Here are promises, anticipations, titillations, regrets. ” — Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture, The Literary Hub
“In What Are the Chances? Robert Scotellaro offers us spelunkers and pot-smoking nuns and birthday party clowns–and much, much more. In a heartbeat, we spiral into lives both ordinary yet on the edge of change and danger, and over the course of just a few pages, he lays bare damaged hearts and offers connections as tenuous as they are tender. His characters are flawed, yes, but they keep trying, reaching out for reconciliation and understanding, winning us over as they stumble toward a kind of imperfect grace. These stories might be small, but they pack a heavyweight’s punch. Scotellaro is truly a master of the flash fiction form.” — Curtis Smith, author of The Magpie’s Return
“Robert Scotellaro has given us a gift with this collection of taut, stunning prose. Each piece is a marvel. The characters, and the situations they find themselves in, are thrilling, unique and immensely entertaining. In seconds he can get your pulse throbbing, or put your anxiety at ease. Scotellaro displays a mastery of the short form.” — Len Kuntz, author of I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither Are You.
“Each time I have the pleasure of reading a collection by Robert Scotellaro, I marvel at his ability to create so many unique and diverse miniature worlds. In What Are the Chances? he holds up multiple fun house mirrors, which continually reflect the sometimes distorted but very real lives of his characters as they navigate small, charged spaces. Scotellaro artfully magnifies detailed moments, assigning them huge import, and does so in his own miraculous way.” — Tara Lynn Masih, Founding Series Editor of The Best Small Fictions and author of My Real Name Is Hanna
“In What are the Chances? Robert Scotellaro once again secures his place as a solid master of micro-fiction. Each story an adventure with the likes of rogue Uber drivers, breakdancing butchers, and skydiving grandmas. Each story told with the ever-present undertone of Scotellaro wisdom and charm. Each story perfectly complete while bursting out of its container to lock imaginations with the reader. And each story one you are not likely to forget any time soon.” –Francine Witte, author of The Way of the Wind and Dressed All Wrong for This.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Robert Scotellaro’s work has been included in W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, Gargoyle, Matter Press, New World Writing, Best Small Fictions 2016, 2017, 2021, Best Microfiction 2020, and elsewhere. He is the author of seven literary chapbooks, several books for children, and five flash and micro story collections. He was the winner of Zone 3’s Rainmaker Award in Poetry and the Blue Light Book Award for his fiction. His most recent book, What Are the Chances? (Press 53) was a finalist for the Big Other Book Award for fiction. He has, along with James Thomas, co-edited New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, published by W.W. Norton & Co. Robert is one of the founding donors to The Ransom Flash Fiction Collection at the University of Texas, Austin. He lives with his wife in San Francisco. Visit him at http://www.robertscotellaro.com
AUTHOR COMMENTS: I am dedicated to exploring the multivarious possibilities of the very short form story, showing how expansive telling details can be. How implication and those suggestive blank spaces can be so impactful, can be expansive beyond any word count borders. How resonant a well-crafted flash piece can be for a reader, like the last note of a cello that lingers long after it is bowed.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: https://robertscotellaro.com/stories/
LOCAL OUTLETS: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-are-the-chances-robert-scotellaro/1137246887 https://www.amazon.com/What-Are-Chances-Robert-Scotellaro/dp/1950413268/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=what+are+the+Chances%3F&qid=1627962378&s=books&sr=1-2
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: https://www.press53.com/robert-scotellaro
PRICE: $14.95 CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Contact me through my website: http://www.robertscotellaro.com, or message me on FB.