Always Happy Hour: Stories

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UPC: 9781631493973
Author: Mary Miller
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  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Liveright; Reprint edition (January 2, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781631493973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631493973
  • ASIN: 1631493973
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches

“Sleek, sexy, slyly funny.” ―Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

A “bracingly strong” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) collection brimming with savage Southern charm, Always Happy Hour propels Mary Miller to new heights. Claustrophobic and lonesome, acerbic and magnetic, her characters seek understanding in the most unlikely places―a dilapidated foster home where love is a liability, a trailer park laden with a history of bad decisions, and the empty corners of a dream home bought after a bitter divorce. “Full of wit, bite, and the boundless intelligence of their author” (Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds), these stories evoke the particular gritty comfort found in bad habits as hope turns to dust, and they prove yet again Miller’s essential role in American fiction.


“In Miller’s new collection, a tipsy glow surrounds her Southern women as they trawl for cocktails, honk-tonk music, and men while nursing an inner ache they can’t booze away. In lucid, vivid prose, Miller renders them alive to lust and, however improbably, to love.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Enjoyable…a meditation on the stories a person tells herself.”
Hilary Moss, New York Times Book Review

“Deftly crafted.”
Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

“Somewhere between the old trope of the fallen woman and the unctuousness of the likable heroine, the young narrators of Miller’s searching stories inhabit the middle space known as reality. . . . Anyone who’s faltered on the way to success and contentment might find solace in the do-gooder in “Big Bad Love,” or the boozy, boyfriend-enabled composition teacher in the title story.”
Boris Kachka, Vulture

“Each of these stories has its own pulse. For anyone who’s ever looked for love in all the wrong places, this shoebox full of beating hearts is for you.”
Amelia Gray, author of Gutshot: Stories

Elizabeth Taylor, National Book Review

“Taken as a whole, this harrowing yet ultimately enjoyable collection is less about the conventions of storytelling―exposition, climax, denouement―and more of a meditation on the stories a person tells herself.”
Martha Sheridan, Dallas Morning News

“Readers will find themselves riveted…The 16 stories in this collection…feel both homey and exotic, limning lives at once familiar and distinctly their own. Like a two-for-one drink special or a boxful of beer, this bracingly strong collection may prove intoxicating.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Some of the women in this collection of short stories are spiraling; some are simply stuck. But they all have one thing in common: relationships in varying degrees of WTF? We can relate.”
Cosmopolitan magazine

“The stories in Mary Miller’s Always Happy Hour are full of wit, bite, and the boundless intelligence of their author. This book is further evidence for what I felt after reading her brilliant debut novel, The Last Days of California, that Mary Miller is an astonishingly gifted writer. Her next one can’t come soon enough.”
Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds


Mary Miller is the author of The Last Days of California and the short story collections Big World and Always Happy Hour. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.