Top of the Rock for November 1997
Mary Helen Stefaniak's

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In this short story collection from the esteemed Minnesota Voices Project, Mary Helen Stefaniak explores life in the late twentieth century. She gives the reader a tour that includes the eccentric culture of a self-storage facility, letter from an elderly woman to the columnist Mike the Mechanic, and a family that must deal with the death of a neighbor's child. Stefaniak deftly handles the details of the many recognizable—if surprising—personalities of millennial America.
Mary Helen Stefaniak is an Iowa writer who divides her time between Iowa City and Omaha, where she has taught in the UNO Writers' Workshop. She will be in town to read from Self Storage on November 6th at 7:30 in the Studio Theater of Creighton University's Lied Education Center for the Arts.

The Critics Agree!

What a joy these stories are! Spun from the stuff of everyday life, they are carefully constructed, lovingly sewn, and touched here and there by the miraculous. Mary Helen Stefaniak knows her craft, and she is a wonderfully humane writer. These are transformative tales. Like the woman in "The Dress from Bangladesh," we slip into them, expecting the same old thing, and suddenly, we shiver all over, as if touched by "an electric tingle." The world around us is the same but we are changed, our awareness heightened, our empathy renewed.—Sharon Oard Warner, author of Learning to Dance and Other Stories
Mary Helen Stefaniak
Much like Bailey White but with more salt in her sauce, Mary Helen Stefaniak spins stories on the wheels of the laugh-out-loud neighborhoods in which we live. Read these stories to your friends and loved ones, to the cop on the corner or the regulars at the laundromat. You'll love Stefaniak's fiction.—James Harris, owner, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, Iowa

Unlike so much new fiction today, these stories are not jagged little pills meant to evoke some dramatic literary response. Rather, these are sensitive, humane stories so artistically depicted that the reader senses an unfolding of everyday life, wondrous and sometimes quirky. The ideas developed are the special kernels of wisdom gathered through living, nuggets involving interesting characters with exquisite facets, brought to awareness to examine and enjoy for truth, beauty, strength, and understanding....

Add this volume to your collection. Read these stories out loud. They are magic. Each will tingle and inform you in unexpected and joyous ways.—Iowa Source

Past Top of the Rock Features

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