Susan Tepper’s hilarious 'The Merrill Diaries' follows a quirky young woman running from a couple of doozy marriages but mainly from herself. The language is whip smart, the characters live and breathe on the page. A beautiful book.
Bonnie ZoBell, author of 'The Whack-Job Girls'
This novel in stories is the end of innocence and the start of “the broken tracks, the roads where the river has flooded over.” A delightful, extraordinary book giving us a look at one woman’s unique destiny.
Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press
Raymond Carver meets Jennifer Egan in Susan Tepper’s new book, 'The Merrill Diaries', in which a restless young woman finds love and lust. The language is spare and intense getting quickly into the staccato rhythms of Merrill’s slap-dash life. “When I don’t know what to do, I generally run away.” Great fun, yet sad too.
Gay Degani, author of 'Pomegranate Stories'
This is an amazing book that reveals the true potential of the so-called flash novel. While each chapter is very short and self-contained, Tepper manages to build a complete novel experience in the process, with beginning, middle and glorious ending. While Merrill is certainly a quirky and often funny character, it is her depths that will stick with me. She's searching, learning, running, being found, and ultimately gaining perspective on her life. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys flash fiction, literary fiction, women's fiction, a good laugh, globe-trotting, or just plain stellar prose. Five thumbs up.
Just finished The Merrill Diaries by the sooo talented Susan Tepper. She hit a walk-off homer, threw the last second touchdown, scored the game winning goal, any other sports cliche, or to change gears, skips the light fandango. More than well worth the purchase!! And hats off to the folk at Pure Slush, the book is beautiful!'
Susan Tepper is a master at creating characters who live and breathe on the page. Merrill, the star and confidante of The Merrill Diaries, is a magnetic and often hilarious figure, a young woman borne along by whim, superstition, and a real desire to find herself. Her journey is unexpected and completely entertaining, and the closing moments are really sensational. I'm certain Merrill will win the hearts of many more readers.
An endearing tale about a woman who is truly living by the wind. Merrill is a bumbling but endearing character whose voice is addictive from the get. I was excited to follow her. She tells it like she sees it, she travels (taking thorough note of her surroundings), she makes mistakes, she seems not to know what she wants then know then not know again, she listens and doesn't, she learns and relearns; she narrates her story with the intimacy of a diary and the details of a keen observer. Merrill is full of life and fun to follow. So follow her.
Wow. I loved this book. Merrill is a world of contradictions: an adventurer who cannot seem to conquer her own skittishness; a twice-married woman who chafes under the bonds of commitment; a traveler by default, who runs away from life, to turn up in exotic places; a sensual being with a prudish soul. Tepper paints this portrait of a Girl Lost in fine, subtle colors, with a rich dollup of humor, and the reader roots for her (and despairs for her) from her earliest adventures in fire and cleaning fluid, right up to the outstandingly appropriate ending. The Merrill Diaries is a deceptively quick read about a complex woman, a character who is both robustly real and a ghost in her own life. It's funny, sad, and immensely enjoyable.
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