“Gutter Ball: A Collection of Short Stories” is a compilation of Susan Marie Shuman’s most popular short stories and micro-fiction. She is in her element on the shadowy side of the street, plunging headlong into such topics as mental illness, relationships, loss, death, and life on the fringe of society. Initially, the reader may infer that Susan is allergic to the mere suggestion of hearts, flowers, and happy endings. Don’t be fooled! When you least expect it, she’ll smack you right between the eyes with a tender love story or a gentle childhood memory. In a nod to her ‘O’Henry-meets-Franz Kafka’ approach to fiction, one of Susan’s long-time readers describes her writing as “the kind that sticks with you for a while.” Others use these adjectives: sometimes-surreal, irreverent, haunting, and sublime in its wit and sarcasm. Also included in this compilation is an interview with Susan by Tony Lovell, an editor at Grammar Ghoul Press. While Susan Shuman’s work has appeared in several anthologies, this is her first solo effort.
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