Bare Ana and Other Stories

Regal House Titles
$18.95 - $28.95
Current Stock:

Expected release date is 18th Feb 2025

Robert Shapard’s exquisitely crafted short stories offer readers a journey into enchantingly peculiar realms. Within the collection, a young girl makes the poignant choice of rejecting immortality in favor of love. A startling revelation confronts a young man as he discovers his father’s head is only burlap with piercing Marks-A-Lot eyes. A couple in their early 30s engage in sex role-play involving the destruction of Mars. A young woman valet parker at an all-night diner in L.A. is ensnared by the world’s most famous monster. A boy’s life is irrevocably altered by witnessing a Mexican family’s farm-truck accident. An old, hungover science professor imparts the Earth’s greatest secret to his sleepy summer school students. The stories are not merely an escape into the surreal but also delve into the human experience. Interwoven throughout the collection is the delicate balance between mortality and love, the intersection of reality and fantasy, the transformative power of unexpected events, and the perennial quest for meaning in life. The collection beckons readers to explore the depths of their own existence and embrace the extraordinary within the ordinary, making it a compelling literary journey.

Praise for Bare Ana and Other Stories

“A pitch-perfect, masterfully wrought collection of fiction short in length but vast in the Big Bang of the human condition. Bare Ana and Other Stories is a work that will enchant in the reading and will endure in the reader for long, long after.”

—Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Late City

“Robert Shapard co-edited Sudden Fiction, an anthology that predated the term flash fiction, and had a ground-breaking effect on the current lay of American short fiction. It’s welcome now to have Bare Ana and Other Stories, a compelling collection of his own work. These artfully concise stories are stamped with a sense of American place, and set at intersections where the workaday world collides with illumination. There’s an ache of the sensual from subtle detail seen freshly enough to elevate the prose, as it does in ‘Cardinals,’ a story about a couple in a long marriage, in which a line reads ‘there were still bra strap indentations in her skin that stirred him.’ Were Shapard a pianist, he’d be a musician praised for the beauty of his delicate touch.”

—Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern, winner of a MacArthur Fellowship and the PEN/Malamud Award

“I love how these stories seem to configure doors and windows that open onto scenes we recognize from some deep part of our souls and then go places we would never have imagined.”

—Christopher Merrill, author of On the Road to Lviv, director of University of Iowa International Writing Program

“I loved every story. A remarkable collection.”

—Meg Pokrass, author of The First Law of Holes: New and Selected Stories

"An impressive collection, like an introduction to flash fictions.”

—Elizabeth Harris, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and the Gival Press Novel Award, author of Three Lives of a Woman

“In Shapard’s world, it’s always dusk, the light is changing, there’s the before and after of a car crash or dust settling, of illicit love and bourbon tossed back. There’s a simmering repression here that’s not quite rage but is deeply connected to lust and love lost. I glided through these lives, these short bits of lightning, that pulled me gracefully through time, as I hung, glittering like chalk dust in sunlight until the very last word. Bare Ana and Other Stories offers readers a collection of carefully crafted and powerful stories.”

—Sherrie Flick, author of Thank Your Lucky Stars

“Robert Shapard’s luminous collection portrays characters lost in the landscapes of nature and of their own making, and characters confronting that transformative juncture where an accident or event changes all. His ability to find and capture transcendency in the smallest of moments—the click of a camera, a ray of sunlight pooling on the floor—will leave his readers enraptured, enlightened, and with a better knowledge of very short fiction.”

—Tara Lynn Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, founding editor of The Best Small Fictions

“Gorgeously written, endearingly weird, hauntingly cool! I like everything about it.”

—Tom Hazuka, author of If You Turn to Look Back, co-editor of Flash Fiction Youth

“The master editor of the flash form offers his own short takes (and a few longer ones) on the world we live in.”

—Steve Heller, author of What We Choose to Remember, former director of Antioch-L.A. MFA Program

“There’s a Black Mirror feel to many of these pieces, which I love. Whether ‘realistic’ or surreal they each stand alone, full of insight and lovely turns of phrase.”

—Nancy Stohlman, author of After the Rapture and Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction

“One of my favorite stories, ‘Motel,’ would make a great short movie.”

—Pamela Painter, author of Fabrications: New and Selected Stories and bestselling What If?

“She unbuttoned the fish,” begins one story in Robert Shapard’s Bare Ana—an arresting statement that turns out to be literal, accurate, miraculous, and perfect. Shapard’s fiction works like that. In a volume of very short stories (some flash or sudden fictions, some approaching the short end of the traditional short fiction range), he displays a tour-de-force capacity for invention and a maestro’s control. Fiction is as much about what is not said as about what is. Shapard’s ear is pitch perfect for voice, and perhaps even more for shocking silences.”

—T.R. Hummer, author of After the Afterlife, former editor of The Georgia Review

“Who could resist these characters, who embrace you with their eagerness to solve the mysteries of unrelenting life.”

—James Thomas, author of Pictures, Moving, co-editor of Flash Fiction America