Since I’ve begun conducting interviews on this site, they’ve become the most popular of my posts, and among the most popular of these exchanges has been a chat with Matthew Vollmer, author of the short story collection Future Missionaries of America — an interview that was published here in late January on the eve of the book’s publication. On the surface, this may not seem much of a surprise; Vollmer’s talk about writing short fiction is marked by the same attention and thoughtfulness that he’s given to his wonderful stories themselves. What is surprising to hear is that the interest in Vollmer has been so persistent despite the fact that his book didn’t make it to bookstores or to Amazon until just recently. I just received an email from Vollmer yesterday telling me that the collection is now available and encouraging me to let my readers know.
I’m glad to do so, of course — always a pleasure to spread the word about great writing wherever I can, with my own sense of missionary zeal.
And for anyone who may have missed it, I’m not the only one spreading that word. A New York Times review (scroll down to the second capsule review) praised Vollmer’s collection as “irresistible” and concluded: “Vollmer writes with equal dexterity about teenagers and adults, men and women, atheists and believers, Goths and jocks, dropouts and doctors — less interested in getting down any particular demographic, it would seem, than in revealing the humans beneath. Expertly structured and utterly convincing, these stories represent the arrival of a strong new voice.”
Do yourself a favor; the book is only a short click away.