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The Women Were Leaving the Men

Stories by Andy Mozina

Award Winner

Fiction

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Paperback
Published: May 2007
ISBN: 9780814333624
Pages: 240 Size: 5.5x7.5
$18.95
eBOOK
Published: May 2007
ISBN: 9780814335239
Review

This collection is both humorous and haunting. Mozina possesses both an ironic sensibility and a real compassion for characters in their human conditions.

— Laura Kasischke

In The Women Were Leaving the Men, Andy Mozina draws readers into the everyday lives of characters who are instantly relatable but intriguingly flawed. Knocked beyond the brink by departed family members, curious obsessions, and unruly physical attributes, Mozina’s characters climb and scrape their way toward intimacy, sanity, and redemption against the often-absurd odds of their lives in this unique, humorous, and poetic collection.

Though Mozina’s stories have been published by various literary magazines, this is his first full-length collection of short fiction. In The Women Were Leaving the Men, readers will encounter numerous haunting characters. A divorced astronaut, back from the moon, tries to rehabilitate his stroke-ridden mother. A young woman must decide whether to stay with a man she suspects of being a murderer. A son helps his mother bake a cake sculpted into the image of his runaway father. A man born with a single enormous hand can barely tell the difference between cleaning and making love. Despite their fantastic twists, every story in The Women Were Leaving the Men is rooted in emotional realism and fueled by the humor and pathos of the characters’ conflicts and relationships. Readers will recognize familiar feelings in interactions between lovers, friends, and strangers, all rendered with strikingly real detail and a sense of humor.

Mozina takes us deeply into his characters’ complex lives so that we may more fully observe and discover the idiosyncrasies in our own. General readers and anyone interested in short fiction will enjoy this remarkable collection.

Andy Mozina is associate professor of English at Kalamazoo College and author of Joseph Conrad and the Art of Sacrifice. His short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines including Tin House, the Massachusetts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Fence, West Branch, Beloit Fiction Journal, and the Florida Review. This collection was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, and Mozina’s short story "The Women Were Leaving the Men" received special mention in The Pushcart Prize (2006) and was named a distinguished story in The Best American Short Stories 2005.

Cowboys drawn to a bizarre ritual; a teenager afraid that his girlfriend will discover he's not normal; a former astronaut more attuned to the moon than to Earth. Mozina's stories are told from a wide range of perspectives, and in voices we haven't heard. The final story ends so strikingly that I didn't want to put the book down after I'd come to the last word.

– Lisa Lenzo, author of Within the Lighted City

Andy Mozina brings great innovation and energy to the short story. The Women Were Leaving the Men heralds a new and deeply original voice.

– Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

Like the stand-up comic and Harvard Law drop-out who narrates the final story in this brilliant collection, Andy Mozina is able to transport us from hilarity to pathos in a breathtaking, heartbreaking moment. A memorable and distinctive debut by a writer with an offbeat and beguiling vision.

– Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl and Equal Love

The riveting characters in The Women Were Leaving the Men dare to hope, and their honesties run them into absurdity, longing, and the sort of turmoil that might be love. No author I know has the gift of being at once so bold, empathetic, and satisfying, and no collection I've read has caused me to laugh out loud so often, or to cherish what it means to feel vulnerable. Mozina is not only brilliant; he's also as fascinating as quicksilver seen for the first time.

– Mark Wisniewski, author of Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman and All Weekend with the Lights On

This collection is both humorous and haunting. Mozina possesses both an ironic sensibility and a real compassion for characters in their human conditions.

– Laura Kasischke, assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan

Mozina has a lively, engaging voice and a knack for hitting perfect details and quirk-levels, the sort of truths you've always felt but never thought."

– The Review of Contemporary Fiction

  • 2007 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award - Result: 2008 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for Fiction
  • 2007 National Best Books Award - Finalist in the Fiction & Literature: Short Story Fiction category