Cary Holladay, The Quick-Change Artist
Publisher: Ohio University Press
2006, 224 pages, $16.95

cary holladay is one of the best writers in the United States you don’t know of. The author of two previous short story collections, The People Down South and The Palace of Wasted Footsteps, and one novel Mercury, Holladay has authored a new story collection as moving as it is elegant. Many of the stories in The Quick-Change Artist originally appeared in top-notch literary magazines, yet there’s not a story here to be overlooked. All feature Holladay’s precise prose and well-rendered Virginia settings. Her characters’ are obsessed with the past and long for a different life, but obligations hold Holladay’s characters back and he chance for a different life slips away. Don’t let the work of one of the great contemporary story writers slip through your hands. Read this book.

–Carmen Edington