Short Story Month: For the Fans | Book*hug Press

Short Story Month: For the Fans

Have you ever read something that hit you so hard that you needed to immediately seek out and get your hands on anything else written by that author? Same. And lucky for us, we’ve had the pleasure of publishing both of her current collections of short stories. This Short Story Month post is dedicated to Jess Taylor and her collections Pauls and Just Pervs. Unafraid to peer into our souls and rattle our nerves, Taylor expertly draws you into compelling narratives about the most complicated subject of all: ourselves. Each one offering something different to its reader, it is also riveting to watch Taylor’s development as a writer.

Read these if you like to go steady with an author, themes on identity, or illuminating subversive literature.

Pauls by Jess Taylor

Pauls by Jess Taylor

Paul is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls. Paul runs through forests, drinks in student housing, flirts with girls, at times is a girl, loves men, makes friends, jumps from buildings, hurts people, gets hurt, climbs up towards the sky, waits for a sunrise, and all those human things.

Pauls, the debut short-story collection by the exciting young writer Jess Taylor, is about people: the things that remain unseen to them; how they cope with their unforgettable pasts; the different roles they take in each other’s lives; how they hurt each other; how they try to heal each other; the things they want to learn; and the things they’ll never discover. At the same time, Pauls is a portrayal of the world as these people see it—they all exist in a universe that is strange and indifferent to those within it. With a unique tone that balances humour, irony, and heavy themes, this series of interconnected stories offers an enjoyable read for people who like lively short fiction that focuses attention on themes of identity, relationships, and love.

Just Pervs by Jess Taylor

Just Pervs by Jess Taylor

Two sex addicts meet and fall in love. A woman catches her husband cheating on her with their dog and escapes to her sister’s horse farm. Four friends—fellow pervs—grow up and drift apart, pining for each other in silence until one of them is murdered.

In Jess Taylor’s sophomore story collection, contemporary views of female sexuality are subverted, and women are given agency over their desires and bodies. Through these characters, sex is revealed to be many things at once: gross, shameful, exhilarating, hidden or open—and always complicated. Reminiscent of the works of Maggie Nelson, Mary Gaitskill and Chris Kraus, the stories in Just Pervs explore the strange oppression and illumination created by desire, the bewilderment of adolescence, and the barriers to intimacy both discovered within and imposed upon ourselves.

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