Winner of the 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award, Heather A. Slomski’s debut story collection demonstrates, in sharp yet daring prose, how reality is not so separate from the surreal. Two couples meet for dinner to acknowledge an affair. A mannequin recalls a lover and the life she mysteriously lost. Two girls observe a young widow’s grief through a café window. A man’s hat is as discerning as Cinderella’s shoe. In the fifteen stories that comprise this collection—some short as breaths, two of them novelettes—Slomski writes with a keen eye about the push and pull of relationships and all that accompanies them: jealousy, obsession, loneliness, regret, and loss.
"The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons is a debut collection of tremendous charm. Charm as in delight; charm as if by magic. In a prose that's never less than lucidly graceful, Heather A. Slomski conjures stories distinguished by, and memorable for, their imaginative power." —Stuart Dybek
"The stories in The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons comprise an implacable, uncommon contemplation of the systems of disquiet that underpin the common life. In prose of rare leanness and refinement, Heather A. Slomski accomplishes a powerful investigation into how we live and suffer and dine." —Wells Tower
Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based writer whose second novel, The Hundred-Year House, was released in the summer of 2014. Her first novel, The Borrower, is a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection, and one of Chicago Magazine's choices for best fiction of 2011. Her short fiction has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper's, Ploughshares, and New England Review.