Los Angeles Independent Publishing

New Poems

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, is the place for new poems, new fiction, and lesbian fiction/lesbian books.

Los Angeles Independent Publishing

New Poems

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, is the place for new poems, new fiction, and lesbian fiction/lesbian books.

Dennis Must

Dennis Must

Author's Website

Dennis Must is the author of two short story collections, Oh, Don’t Ask Why (Red Hen Press, 2007), and Banjo Grease (Creative Arts Book Company, 2000), and a novel, The World'’s Smallest Bible (Red Hen Press, 2014). His plays have been performed Off Off Broadway, and his fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has worked as a cabinetmaker, short-order cook, lightning rod installer, florist, bartender, bellhop, and as a general laborer in a glass factory, in a steel mill, on highway construction, and on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. For over a decade, he was Executive Vice President of Corporate Space, Inc., a commercial real estate firm in Boston he co-founded. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

Los Angeles Independent Publishing

New Poems

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, is the place for new poems, new fiction, and lesbian fiction/lesbian books.

Books Available:

Oh, Don't Ask Why

Oh, Don't Ask Why

Dennis Must
2007-01-01
$15.95 TP
Shop: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble

Description:

In Oh, Don't Ask Why, Dennis Must's dark humor and use of jarringly raw language confront a number of anxieties and complexities with which his characters grapple. From overwhelming sorrow to suicidal reflection, this compilation of stories reaches deep into the internal and touches readers to the core.

"Dennis Must's splendid new collection Oh, Don't Ask Why is a worthy successor to Banjo Grease, his first book of stories, and it advances elements from that work: diminution of vitality, dissolution of family, fierce filial loyalties, a mingling of sexual ador, grief, loss, and spiritual and moral anxiety and ambiguity. These elements are not merely threads in the collection's tapestry but are its very guts and sinew. The glass through which Must's characters perceive life is definitely noir, and they are daunted by a variety of forces, among them multiple personalities and suicidal longings (hope and despair can exist in the same sentence in a Must story), and many have an aesthetic subtext. Often it seems the sacred can only be defined by and in the presence of the profane--think of Kafka, Flannery O'Connor, Nathaniel West, Hawthorne. This is a darkly funny book that provokes the sort of laughter that dies in your throat as you realize that, as Brecht put it, 'He who laughs has not yet been told the terrible news.'

In Oh, Don't Ask Why we can again admire Must's trademark swift exposition and startling visual coups, and experience his affinity for the perfect detail.

This collection will haunt the reader for a long, long time; as a Fitzgerald notebook entry goes, 'Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story.'

--Geoffrey Clark, author of Wedding in October and Jackdog Summer


The World's Smallest Bible

The World's Smallest Bible

Dennis Must
2014-03-15
$15.95 Tradepaper
Shop: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble

Description:

The World?s Smallest Bible chronicles the seriocomic boyhood of Ethan and Jeremiah Mueller in mill town Pennsylvania during the height of World War II. As they lose friends and neighbors to the front lines, the boys try to make sense of the mounting darkness with their imaginations?except in their world, no one ever dies. In a private, laconic language, they invent stories that mirror the irrational world around them: a chaplain with bad news becomes the Angel of Death, skeletal Nazis lurk around the corner, and the ghost of a dead playmate taps at their bedroom window in the night. With startling lyricism and narrative grace, Dennis Must has fashioned an indelible vision of the Mueller boys? blighted youth.

Praise for The World's Smallest Bible

?Told in startling, poetic language, The World?s Smallest Bible is an ode to the power of the imagination, as two boys in a Pennsylvania town during WWII sustain each other with stories and fabulist visions. Their struggle with the real world?the war, teachers, their parents?runs through The World?s Smallest Bible like an obbligato. Dennis Must skillfully combines narrative momentum with lyricism resulting in a novel of extraordinary grace and originality.?

?Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger?s Glasses

?In this darkly comic Bildungsroman, Ethan Daugherty, initially plagued by several manifestations of moral evil?both imagined and real?comes to understand one indisputable existential truth: The restrictive confines of place?in this case, Hebron, Pennsylvania, toxic in practically every respect?can maim the soul, kill the human spirit. Reminiscent of Zola, The World?s Smallest Bible brilliantly demonstrates that for all one?s attempts, whether ignoble or noble, to escape one?s seemingly appointed lot, the only way out may be the grave.?

?Jack Smith, author of Hog to Hog


Los Angeles Independent Publishing

New Poems

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, is the place for new poems, new fiction, and lesbian fiction/lesbian books.