Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts (Stories)
"N. M. Kelby has long been one of my favorite writers, and her new story collection, A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts, is the sweet, pure, hilarious, sneakily profound essence of her. We ache and we laugh: this is the experience of reading N. M. Kelby just as it is the experience of living in the 21st century."
-Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts is a collection of stories, rooted in the Midwest, for those of us who suddenly find ourselves displaced, tourists in our own lives.
Reminiscent of the work of Lorrie Moore and Jill McCorkle, this ten-story collection features the sweetly off-beat love story "Jubilation, FL," where two highly unlikeable people share dairy products, and "The Faithful," a funny yet tender story about a family torn apart by their beautiful mother Kitty, who will not give up her coyote fur or cat's-eye sunglasses for anything. We also meet landlocked mermaids and a twists Camp Fire Girl troupe who will do anything to sell the most P-Nuttles in history. The collection includes the riotous "The Last Rites," featuring Zimmer, a rock idol who "had always wanted to be buried in his 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible" and is not disappointed.
Kelby's stories have appeared on National Public Radio's "Selected Shorts," on NPR's CD Travel Tales, and in the prestigious New Stories from the South: Best of 2006.
Whimsical, surreal, touching, and often fiercely funny, this collection takes a clear-eyed look at what it means to be disconnected from our loved ones, our landscapes, and ultimately ourselves.
"This is a collection of love stories, each and every one of them true to what goes on between us when our hearts collide. Beautiful, sweet, and a little sad: love, exactly. N. M. Kelby knows a thing or two." -Daniel Wallace, author of four novels including Big Fish, which was also a film of the same name.
"Kelby peeks into the hidden places of the heart, the sweet spot where love dwells." -Patti Callahan Henry, author of six novels, including Between the Tides
"N.M. Kelby writes beautifully. Her characters are unforgettable, and her use of oddball details adds to the particular flavor of the story, which has moments of melancholy and tenderness among the fireworks."
–The Capital Times