Gateway To Paradise
In these bold stories set in the mountains and small towns of the South, men and women looking for escape from dull routines and a culture of hype (whether of consumerism, sex, or religion) are led to places of danger and self-reckoning. A dentist on a tryst is seduced by and impregnates an impetuous ghost. A beleaguered young writing professor follows his imagination one step too far while escorting a famous writer he finds darkly alluring. Provoked by a radio talk show, a woman tests who is more intimate, her husband or her dog. In the novella-length title story, a young McDonald’s cashier sets off alone on a harrowing, surreal journey after her domineering boyfriend commits a murder in her name—a journey from nowhere and nothing to an epiphany in Gatlinburg, at the edge of the Smoky Mountains wilderness.
“[Vollmer] has now conjoined his two writing brain halves, his formal ease with tradition and an impulse to upset your applecart. There is little to nothing else like it.”
—The Brooklyn Rail
“A beautifully voiced, precise, hilarious, utterly serious, and extremely impressive book.”
—David Shields, author of Reality Hunger
Matthew Vollmer is also the author of inscriptions for headstones, essays. His work has appeared in Tin House, Glimmer Train, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize anthology, and elsewhere. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Virginia Tech.
Paperback / $15.95 (Can $18.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-466-9 / 184 pages / Fiction