In this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.
In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because of their sexual orientation, racial or religious identity, or simply because they look different. A young man courts the publicity that comes from outing himself at his bar mitzvah. When a painter is shunned because of his appearance, he learns to ink tattoos that come to life. A paranoid Jewish actuary suspects his cat of cheating on him—with his Protestant girlfriend.
In this debut collection, humor complements pathos. Readers will recognize themselves in these stories and in these protagonists, whose backgrounds are vastly different from their own—we’ve all been outsiders at some point.
"Each succinct fictional nugget rolls inexorably along its own quirky trajectory, arrives at its own unexpected destination, and never overstays its welcome ... this is a book about the heart. Breaking news: Maizes' gently witty and vaguely weird collection is well worth reading."
—Starred Kirkus Review (Read full review: here.)
“Through her fantastic characters, all outsiders in some way, Maizes masterfully intertwines harsh realities with humor and a deep understanding of human nature.”
—Booklist (Read full review: here.)
“Maizes’s direct manner of storytelling and her imperfect yet unmistakably human characters are sure to win over readers.”
—Publishers Weekly (Read full review: here.)
"Told with humor and wisdom, these charming stories burst with possibility: At any moment, a character might risk all, or the world might tilt on its axis. Here is a wildly entertaining new voice, one to revel in."
—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
"I can’t remember the last time I read an entire book with a smile on my face. But from R.L. Maizes’s title, WE LOVE ANDERSON COOPER, until the last story here, I grinned. These stories are funny, yes. But they are also so big hearted and honest that I wanted to thrust them into everyone’s hands and make them read this book so we would all be grinning together as we recognized that these oddball characters are really exactly like us."
―Ann Hood, Author of The Knitting Circle and The Book That Matters Most
"A unique angle of vision―devastating and funny. In her stories, R.L. Maizes probes the fusion of alienation and yearning, the persistence of attachment to animals and to people."
―Ursula Hegi, Author of Stones from the River (Book #1 of the Burgdorf Cycle Series)
"I found myself dazzled, moved, and lost in admiration for these unforgettable stories, each one a gem. Where do I sign up for the R.L. Maizes school of brilliantly depicting off-kilter love and loss with unfailing wit and empathy?"
―Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance and On Turpentine Lane
"The title story in We Love Anderson Cooper will break your heart in all the best ways and it will also make you laugh; such is the blueprint for all that is ahead in this stunning collection. R.L. Maizes has such a gift for taking us where we’ve never been, yet reminding us of what we know about love, grief, a place of belonging."
―Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
OTHER PEOPLE’S PETS
coming June 2020 from
La La Fine relates to animals better than she does to other people. Abandoned by a mother who never wanted a family, raised by a locksmith-turned-thief father, La La looks to pets when it feels like the rest of the world conspires against her.
La La’s world stops being whole when her mother, who never wanted a child, abandons her twice. First, when La La falls through thin ice on a skating trip, and again when the accusations of “unfit mother” feel too close to true. Left alone with her father―a locksmith by trade, and a thief in reality―La La is denied a regular life. She becomes her father’s accomplice, calming the watch dog while he strips families of their most precious belongings.
When her father’s luck runs out and he is arrested for burglary, everything La La has painstakingly built unravels. In her fourth year of veterinary school, she is forced to drop out, leaving school to pay for her father’s legal fees the only way she knows how―robbing homes once again.
As an animal empath, she rationalizes her theft by focusing on houses with pets whose maladies only she can sense and caring for them before leaving with the family’s valuables. The news reports a puzzled police force―searching for a thief who left medicine for the dog, water for the parrot, or food for the hamster behind.
Desperate to compensate for new and old losses, La La continues to rob homes even after her father flees custody. But it’s a strategy that will ultimately fail her.
Other People’s Pets examines the gap between the families we’re born into and those we create, and the danger that holding on to a troubled past may rob us of the future.