A Swallow Press Book
“Too Bad About Howie” was the winner of The Journal Short Story Contest • “Honeymoon in Beirut” selected for New California Writing 2012 anthology
“These 10 vigorous stories from Tintocalis mine the inner lives of Russian and Lebanese émigrés and crummy California divorceés alike…. Tintocalis’s debut is filled with strange characters who maintain puzzling appeal despite—and often because of—their quirks.”
“(Tintocalis) has a knack for finding the odd, authenticating detail. As a result, characters…aren’t just behind a page. They lean toward the reader. They seem personal and life-sized. One can neither sum them up nor predict them…. This collection will seal (Tintocalis) as one of the country’s emerging writers.”
ForeWord Reviews (May/June 2010 projected)
“In her debut story collection, The Tiki King, Stacey Tintocalis has crafted a book whose quirks beautifully dovetail with its deep, dark undertones. Tintocalis’s characters and neighborhoods, ostensibly shiny, are disguised by veneers that are beginning to peel and crack after years of stress and strain. With ten stories that run the gamut from the emotional musings of a man watching a female stranger iron his shirt (‘Iron’), to the existential plumbing of an abandoned woman adrift in lust for her husband’s brother (‘Geishas’), The Tiki King is as varied as it is pleasurable.”
“This debut collection is a stunner. Stacy Tintocalis keeps us guessing as each of these stories unfolds. She reveals characters who are not always what they seem, and may not know themselves as well as the reader does by the end. Tintocalis handles her material with tough grace and has the ability to both shock and move us.”
Rebecca Chace, author of Leaving Rock Harbor
A Lebanese housewife, a former horror-film maker, and a cantankerous Russian librarian are among the inhabitants of the offbeat world found in this impressive debut collection. Stacy Tintocalis’s stories take us from a defunct women’s shelter off a Missouri country road to the streets of low-income Hollywood, where her characters yearn for the love that is always just out of reach.
The title story explores the conflicted emotions an adolescent boy feels toward a father who obsessively returns to his childhood home. In “Too Bad about Howie,” a divorced poet finds comfort in stolen moments with his ex-wife’s dog. Despite their longing for connection, these characters are victims of their own foibles, trapped in terrifying moments of psychic violence that risk driving away the very people they love.
Stacy Tintocalis has published fiction and nonfiction in journals such as Crazyhorse, Cream City Review, and the Wilshire Review. Stories from her collection have won The Journal’s Annual Fiction Prize and Santa Clara Review’s Editor’s Choice Prize. She currently resides in Mountain View, Missouri.
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