ISBN: 979-8-9886903-2-0 (Print)
$16 (Print); $9.99 (eBook)
About the Author
MATTHEW THOMAS MEADE has previously delivered newspapers, worked in a library, planted trees, and served coffee for a living, but he doesn’t do any of those things anymore. His fiction has appeared in The Sun Magazine, Bourbon Penn, The Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Rocketflower, won the C&R Press Summer Tide Pool Contest. Some of his work, as well as the one good picture he has of himself, can be found at http://www.matt hewthomasmeade.com. Sometimes he has a mustache.
Strip Mall: Stories
A young lawyer moonlights as an ersatz psychic; a woman struggles with the caregiver burden caused by her boyfriend’s satanic possession; a suburban mother reckons with Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in mass-casualty form. In the blank quotidian spaces of Matthew Meade’s debut collection, circumstances of profound and surreal horror—reanimated corpses, conspiracy theorists attacked by “energy weapons,” highbrow artwork that’s alive (and acting like a jerk)—dissipate with shockingly deadpan ease into sensitive accounts of ordinary human relationships and resilience. With its heartfelt portraits of a magical world where late-stage capitalism has blurred the boundaries between the living and the dead, Strip Mall presents a strangely grace-filled vision of the dystopia already upon us.
Advance Acclaim for Strip Mall: Stories
“Meade has some George Saunders to him. He possesses that scythe-sharp wit that razes easy answers, so he can show us the beauty and indignity of human truth.”
--Joshua Mohr, author of Sirens and Damascus
"Each story in Matt Meade's collection is a formal surprise, simultaneously serious, high-stakes, darkly funny, and true."
--Debbie Urbanski, author of After World
"Brutal and winsome, Strip Mall offers a clear-eyed view into addiction, bad love, and people in need. In a realm of demons, Meade charts a path for healing, and readers feel every rock in the road. This book hurts!"
--Stephen Hundley, author of The Aliens Will Come to Georgia First and Bomb Island
"A riotous compilation of stories about conspiracy theorists in love, do-it-yourself exorcisms, lost boys, and back-alley resurrections. The characters here are just shy of unhinged and beautifully human, with voices that zing through the pages to pierce any complacency we might be harboring about the state of the world. Meade is a talented new voice, a born storyteller who could charm the skin off a rattlesnake, all while cracking holes in the façade of the everyday to let the truly strange and wonderful shine through."
--Tina May Hall, author of The Snow Collectors and recipient of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize
“Reading Meade produces great sorrow and snorts of undignified laughter. Nothing is explained, but everything is as clear as glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Read if you have a hankering to see what George Saunders would be like without morals, Kafka if he’d actually gotten married, Denis Johnson in an AA meeting. Read if you’ve ever felt like hanging out on a street corner shouting at strangers, how did we get here and how do we go on? Just read it.”
-- Sarah Harwell, author of Delay and winner of the Joyce Carol Oates Prize in Poetry
"In stories that scoff at form and dare you, just dare you, to have expectations, Matthew Thomas Meade’s characters in Strip Mall want to tell you how it is. They’re exorcising demons, cavorting with paintings, and raising people from the dead, wholly bent on disturbing you with the mess and contradiction that is not only life but art. They’re raw, they’re earnest. And then they give themselves—and the real story—away in a devastating moment of revelation. I’m going to be thinking about Ty and Sammy for a long time."
--Christen Aragoni, editor-in-chief of Liberal Education