Misplaced Alice

I was highly invigorated by these stories. They’re such exquisitely crafted aperçus of the droll and the macabre. Very Hitchcockian. The focus of the stories becomes very acute; the severe compression causes grotesque acts to appear even more grotesque.
John Olson, author of Echoe Regime and Oxbow Kazoo

Misplaced Alice is a collection of seventeen very short stories. Many of the stories are only three pages long. They have appeared in magazines such as The Cortland Review, Chrysanthmum, Timber Creek, and ZYZZYVA.

In this new collection of stories, Matt Briggs reminds us of the ordinary strangeness of strange and ordinary lives. Like the best in contemporary literature, his stories make the familiar unfamiliar and thus remind us to take a second look at who we are. Briggs understands the two-sidedness of life, how many ordinary situations can be comforting and disturbing at the same time. Sometimes he puts me in mind of Raymond Carver’s stories. Other times he reminds me of the off-kilter world of Russell Edson. This is a striking new collection, one that should draw the attention of everyone who is interested in what is happening in contemporary short fiction.
Jim Heynen, author of You Know What is Right and The One-Room Schoolhouse

Reviews

Briggs knows how to get through a story. His manner is to write sentences that are short and intense and seem to get ahead of themselves–producing the druggy, somewhat dizzying effect of contrived propulsion as he charges right through the kind of subject matter other writers would deliberate over dolorously.
The Seattle Weekly

As accurate as Briggs’ realistic settings are, it is this amorphous “something else” seeping through his new book that makes it seem so “Northwest” to me. These are stories about different kinds of misplacement, like the sense you get after you have come west to the end of the country and know there is nowhere further left to go.
Rebecca Brown, The Stranger

Here we have 17 short stories from a Seattle author. They run at you like a puppy, flop, play, purr (it’s an odd puppy, isn’t it?), sometimes play dead until they jump up at you. From Ida, who makes very good bacon for breakfast, through a little monkey in a big cage in an apartment, to David and his father and how they like their coffee, these sprightly and often grotesque stories are witty and sharp and would have delighted Alfred Hitchcock. You might have to special-order the book. It’s more than worth it.
— Dan Hays, The Statesmen Journal

Pick up a copy of this tiny gem from one of the Northwest’s most interesting small presses.
Willamette Weekly

Is a story still good if you feel it doesn’t give you enough? Obviously, it depends. If you end up wanting more, then I guess you could say it’s successful. Still, the spare, morose style displayed in Matt Briggs’s new collection, Misplaced Alice, often left me with not enough to hold on to. I admire what he’s aiming for — an updated sort of Raymond Carver minimalism — but where Carver’s characters and speech left a haunting and tangible kind of sadness with the reader, Briggs’s prose seems held away from the body too much and too elusive to really stick.
— Kevin Sampsell, The American Book Review

Misplaced Alice was discussed in an article about The Stranger’s Genius Awards.

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