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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Misfits and Other Heroes, by Suzanne Burns

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Misfits and Other Heroes, by Suzanne Burns


Misfits and Other Heroes, by Suzanne Burns


Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Paperback: 212 pages
ISBN: 978-0-981589-96-1
Trim: 8.3 x 5.4


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Suzanne Burns' Misfits and Other Heroes is a wickedly insightful, brilliantly constructed collection of 14 stories which are at once fearless and full of hope. In tales of the familiar turned on their heads, Burns introduces us to lovers and travelers, dreamers and daredevils, a man the size of a drinking straw and a magician with a masochistic streak. Acts of murder and mayhem run alongside a middle-aged woman dreaming of a different life. In each tale Burns consistently hits the perfect chord. The stories do not just present the strange, but use the bizarre to accent what is human in all of us. Mixing the best of Chuck Palahniuk with the keen clever humor of Aimee Bender, Burns is a writer of unique wit and wisdom. Misfits and Other Heroes is a debut not to be missed.


"This is no ordinary collection. In Misfits and Other Heroes Burns writes of disproportion, excess, reinvention, and lack as a means of magnifying outward physical irregularities to better reveal the inner irregularities of her characters. Burns is unafraid to explore the dark territory of human heart where love and hate are twins for desire and dread. The many brilliant moments of character, language, and startling observations indicate Burns is a keen observer of the wretched and wonderful human creature. In Burns' capable hands the grotesque becomes achingly familiar: the misfits she writes about are us." —Gina Oschner, author of People I Wanted to Be 

"Suzanne Burns's "heroes" in Misfits and Other Heroes may at first seem just the other side of real, but in their obsessions with food and love and their stories' perfectly odd specificity, they're as real and credible as Americans can be, whether they're a tiny husband carried around in a bird cage by his wife or a woman who prefers to eat glass rather than dumplings or a couple attached to a dollhouse. Who would have thought that Oregon's misfits could be as deluded and cruel as Flannery O'Connor's Southerners and even more bizarre?" —Tom Whalen, author of Winter Coat

"Misfits and Other Heroes shows what happens when relationships get downright weird between adorably flawed and familiar characters. Take a good, long look into Burns' funhouse mirror and find yourself anew." —Trevor Dodge, author of Everyone I Know Lives on Roads


"A daring first story collection by a poet. If you love Flannery O’Connor, try Burns." —More Magazine

"It's downright refreshing to read stories that say something, that show a willingness to turn over the rocks of romantic relationships and shed light on the muck below—and to do it with such fun and dazzling prose, to boot." Powell's

"Burns’s ability to create quirky and odd characters—while they’re compelling and well crafted—isn’t even her greatest strength as a writer.  Where she truly shines is in the way she develops meaning and emotional depth from both the conventional and the peculiar.  The oddballs in her stories aren’t used as a gimmick, and they’re certainly not pedestrian.  And while they might not look, act, or think the way others in their worlds want them to, they’re people with substance, who have earned the reader’s attention and compassion."Live Nude Books