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Please Come Back to Me

Stories and a Novella (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction #108)

Jessica Treadway, Nancy Zafris (Editor)


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Please Come Back To Me is another remarkable collection by an author the New York Times has called "a writer with an unsparing bent for the truth."

In "The Nurse and the Black Lagoon" a woman tries to understand why her teenage son has been accused of a disturbing crime. In "Testimony" an adult daughter visiting her father does everything she can to keep herself from remembering what she believes she cannot bear. A man returns to his hometown in "Dear Nicole" to face the realization that he married the wrong woman out of misplaced guilt. "Oregon" portrays the internal struggle of a woman who, having years ago betrayed a secret entrusted to her by her best friend, is tempted to repeat the mistake with the same friend's daughter. And in the collection's novella, "Please Come Back To Me," a young widow seeks faith and comfort--in both natural and supernatural realms--after her husband's death leaves her alone to care for their infant son.

On the surface, Jessica Treadway's stories offer realistic portrayals of people in situations that make them question their roles as family members, their ability to do the right thing, and even their sanity. But Treadway's psychic landscapes are tinged with a sense of the surreal, inviting readers to recognize--as her characters do--that very little is actually as it seems.

Praise For Please Come Back to Me: Stories and a Novella (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction #108)

“Beautifully written and fully imagined, Treadway's work reminds us that the short story form is alive and well.”—Chicago Tribune

"Most of Treadway’s prose is clear and searingly direct. She tells her stories without flash or florid embellishments. But the little insights and illuminating details are all the more vivid in their spare dryness. Instead of telling us what the characters are feeling, she shows us."—Boston Globe

"In almost all of these stories, characters are presented with a chance to redeem themselves; some of them seize it, some do not...Treadway is at her best when she depicts characters colliding with one another in the blind clutch of life, without anyone being particularly more at fault than another—when tragedy results from circumstances of misunderstanding and human weakness...Treadway succeeds brilliantly in describing the state of “going blank,” striking close to the core of why we don’t see ourselves doing the things we do."—The Rumpus

“Treadway writes with deep intelligence, great sensitivity, and even greater heart. These stories make a reader feel completely at home and yet continually surprised. Please Come Back To Me offers compelling material, delivered by an author who understands that truth is always richer when delivered with compassion.”—Elizabeth Berg, author of The Last Time I Saw You

"Jessica Treadway's Please Come Back to Me is a collection of spare and insightful stories that explore the limits of love and forgiveness. Treadway's sure and quietly penetrating style is reminiscent of Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus. Many stories focus on marriage and parenting, but there's no sentimentality here, only flashes of dark humor." —Albany Times Union

"Each of the eight stories in this collection stands on its own, but together, this assemblage of portraits of strikingly raw humans provides a depth of feeling and detail that will keep the reader captivated and longing to observe these characters for just a bit longer."—Bookslut

University of Georgia Press, 9780820335841, 238pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2010

About the Author

Jessica Treadway is an associate professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. She is the author of "Absent Without Leave and Other Stories," winner of the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and a novel, "And Give You Peace."