Gateway to Paradise: Stories

Matthew Vollmer (Author)


In these gritty, imaginative stories set in the mountains and small towns of the South--often in motels, theme parks, or resorts--men and women find themselves at the mercy of an inspiration gone wrong: a man on a tryst is seduced by a ghost; a woman conducts a test to discover who is her true best friend--her husband or her dog; a beleaguered young writing professor goes one step too far while chaperoning the famous writer he finds darkly alluring. In the title story, an ex-high-school basketball player living an uneventful life in her small hometown as a cashier helps her boyfriend rob a lottery winner, and finds herself on an epic journey of fear, deceit, and betrayal.

Product Details

Persea Books
Publish Date
October 01, 2015
5.3 X 0.6 X 8.1 inches | 0.45 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Matthew Vollmer is the author of INSCRIPTIONS FOR HEADSTONES (Outpost19), a collection of essays; two collections of short stories, FUTURE MISSIONARIES OF AMERICA (Salt Modern Fiction) and GATEWAY TO PARADISE (Persea); and with David Shields is the co-editor of FAKES: An Anthology of Pseudo Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts (Norton). In 2010, Vollmer was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.


Surreal, grittily realistic, comic, and tragic at times, but always entertaining. Matthew Vollmer is a very talented writer, and all of that talent is on display in this exceptional collection.--Ron Rash
A beautifully voiced, precise, hilarious, utterly serious, and extremely impressive book.--David Shields
Vollmer's collection is lyrical and honest...unique and character driven stories.
There's a certain wedge of the American South where mountains give way to idyllic college towns and tall tales give way to the ghosts that inspired them. It's the geographical confluence of truth and fiction, history and folklore, and Matthew Vollmer mines that rich terrain in Gateway to Paradise, a collection of short stories that follows disparate lives entangled in the Appalachians like vines of kudzu, tethered by secrets and stories. . . . Vollmer's best stories have a ring of truth . . . . [his characters are] as distinct and magnetic as the region they inhabit.