Future Missionaries of America


Product Details

Salt Publishing
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.46 X 8.5 inches | 0.57 pounds
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About the Author

Matthew Vollmer's work has appeared in Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Epoch, Tin House, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Antioch Review, Portland Review, Confrontation, Salt Hill, Fugue, PRISM International, and New Letters. His work has been twice short-listed for the Best American Short Stories series, and he has been nominated numerous times for the Pushcart Prize. A winner of a 2010 grant from the US National Endowment of the Arts, Vollmer holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He now teaches in the English Department at Virginia Tech, where he also advises graduate teaching assistants in the composition program.He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Kelly Pender, their son Elijah, and dog Ruby.


Matthew Vollmer has a written a book that looks like America: it's big, funny, sad and hopeful; its ambition is to take over the world. I'm behind it one hundred per cent.--Daniel Wallace, author of Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician and Big Fish
The characters who inhabit the hilarious, heartbreaking stories in Future Missionaries of America may be desperate, yet, for all their lost innocence, they have the capacity to celebrate life's joy and pain. At its best, Matthew Vollmer's writing bursts with a kind of ecstatic poetry; as one of his people says, 'reverent and wild and pure and transcendent.--Stewart O'Nan, author of Snow Angels, Songs for the Missing and Poe
In prose that manages to be both precise and expansive, Matthew Vollmer tells compassionate stories of people forced to take action against difficult circumstances. This collection is bold and risky, written by a courageous new writer.--Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight
There are large cracks in America, and a person can fall right down into them, and never be seen again. Many of Matthew Vollmer's characters are on the verge of doing that. Wacked-out teenagers, mountain survivalists, Adventist evangelists, compulsive gamblers, estranged mothers, Goth girls, world-class skateboarders, English department dopeheads, broken-hearted dentists, every one of them caught in the midst of an unimaginable situation, usually involving inexpressible love or grief. I have never read any stories like these. Quite often, these stories are saying the unsayable.--Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
From the opening rhapsody to the final prayerful note, Matthew Vollmer's stories beautifully script the drama of a changed world in search of new words. Here you'll find the tensile strengths of realism set beside the radical innovations of experiment, the enduring power of the story reinvented for our new day. Virtuosic in its variations yet held together by a ballast of obsession, Future Missionaries of America has more range than most novels while doing brilliantly what stories do best: it deepens the mystery of others by making that mystery familiar.--Charles D'Ambrosio, author of The Point and Other Stories and The Dead Fish Museum