Truth Lies in Life's Extremes
Truth Lies in Life's Extremes
These partially linked stories follow the strange and comic adventures of characters united by longing and misplaced passions: a lonely teenage girl falls in love with an older, married neighbor; a boy learns the fine art of shoplifting from his father; a schoolteacher gets fired for teaching time incorrectly; and a young woman receives guidance from a drunk therapist. Quirky and funny, yet deeply human, the stories in Yes, Yes, Cherries seek answers to the questions of whom we love and why, how we search for love, lose it, or find it- sometimes at the last moment and in the most unlikely places.
Mary Otis’s elegantly crafted debut collection combines the hilarious with the tragic.
"Sadness and humor sidle up to each other, evocative of the delicate balance of melancholy and wit found in Lorrie Moore's stories."
- New York Times
Yes, Yes, Cherries offers an intriguing batch of imperfect characters and unstable conditions. Otis has a sharp eye for people’s habits. She knows how to draw flawed relationships. And under her guidance, hearing about the agony of lust and love never gets old.
Los Angeles Times
These are invisible people in pockets of the city that go underchronicled… What ties them all together is Otis’ strong voice, which is jittery and electric, unsettling like the Santa Ana winds… bringing the same eye for detail from one story to the next.
Otis does a fine job recreating the contradictory impulses of reason and feeling. Her sharp, lively prose maintains a tautness of rhythm that speaks to her ability as a sentence-crafter.
Mary Otis writes stories that radiate intelligence, compassion, and humor.
The characters in these stories, whether a teacher who teaches time incorrectly, a policeman-philosopher at the scene of an accident, or a young girl who wears a frosted blond wig and knocks on her neighbor’s door to sell ‘what you need to buy’ show us what it means to be human. That’s all a reader asks of any story. That is, of course, everything.
Author of "Last Year’s Jesus" and "All These Girls"
Otis’ keenly written debut short story collection features characters caught up in longing, indiscretion, and unrequited desire. Otis’ tales are clever and concise… The Allison stories are the most endearing, since her journey is as unexpected as so-called everyday life.
An adroit debut collection… sharply drawn and notable for it’s depth.
Otis entertains with her remarkable observations about one of life’s great mysteries.
In a collection of powerful short stories, Mary Otis shines light on how and why we fall in love.
Yes, Yes, Cherries skates through the margins of American dreaming, its great poignancy balanced on heartbreaking absurdities. Mary Otis offers a dead-on candor spliced through with perceptual leaps, her realism glinting with near-psychotropic sparks. An irresistible collection, Yes, Yes, Cherries beautifully enacts the poetry of bewilderment.
Author of "The First Desire" and "House Fires"
An assured collection, linked occasionally by character but always by Otis’s remarkable voice, her gift for the luminous detail, the surprising turn, the transcendent finish.
Karen Joy Fowler
Author of "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "Sister Noon"
Mary Otis writes with empathy and a cockeyed wit.
Los Angeles Magazine
Author of "Birds In America" and "Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?"
Mary Otis sees things from the odd angle, which is the literary one. It makes her stories true-to-life, funny, brave and amazing.