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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.

In the Devil's Territory, by Kyle Minor

Dzanc Ebooks

In the Devil's Territory, by Kyle Minor

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In the Devil's Territory - Minor - Cover.gif

In the Devil's Territory, by Kyle Minor

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A schoolteacher escapes East Berlin at night, swimming the Spree River three times carrying elderly relatives on her back, so she can make her way to West Palm Beach, Florida, and “ruin the lives of fifth grade boys.” A young husband reckons with the likelihood that his wife’s troubled pregnancy will end with her death before Christmas. A preacher bathes his ill and elderly mother, not knowing that she has mistaken him for the long-lost cousin she watched murder his brother in her father’s tobacco field. In six stories that read like novels in miniature, Kyle Minor plumbs the depths of human mystery, where we meet our kindnesses and our cruelties, our generosities and our pettinesses.

It includes the story “A Day Meant to Do Loss,” selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2008, and “goodbye Hills, hello night,” winner of the 2005 Tara M. Kroger Award.


“A great strength of Minor’s [and he has many]—he doesn’t shy away from excavating the darkest realms, the most off-limits ideas, those thoughts that make their way across our brains that we never, never admit to having to anyone else, and are only barely able to admit to ourselves.” —Bookslut

“The Roman dramatist Terence wrote, ‘Nothing human is alien to me.’ It seems Kyle Minor shares his credo. No one is beyond the reach of his unsentimental compassion.”  —The Short Review

“Minor’s voice lands somewhere between William Faulkner and Stephen King.”  —NewPages

“The six stories collected for In the Devil’s Territory are bold, diverse, complex and shockingly memorable . . . The range is impressive. Even more impressive is the thoughtfulness with which Minor explores the limits of our understanding of ourselves and one another; and the compassion that sometimes, briefly, reaches across those limits.”  —The Columbus Dispatch

“Minor performs magic with point of view, and he knows that if you describe a thing precisely enough you can make it not just real but tragic . . . Minor is ambitious in ways that seem too risky to succeed, but the stories do succeed.”  —The Yale Review

“Throughout this striking collection, we are reminded that everyone harbors a secret life, in one way or another. The stories live beyond the page, make you look around, in classrooms and grocery stores and churches, in living rooms and across kitchen tables. They make you wonder what people need to confess but cannot—and if they did, could we bear to hear it?”  —Third Coast

“In Kyle Minor’s dark debut collection of stories, personal secrets always exact a terrible price—sometimes worse than the events that motivated them. . . . But as Minor shows in fantastic, horrifying detail, buried truths can bubble up in strange, nightmarish ways.”  —Boston Phoenix

“‘The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Party,’ which opens the collection, is Minor at his best—a powerful story about a man overcome with guilt, worry and resentment as the health of his wife and their unborn child hangs in the balance. Minor has a knack for capturing melancholy and establishing empathy for his book’s many wayward characters.”  —Publishers Weekly


Kyle Minor’s work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, among them Best American Mystery Stories 2008The Southern ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewSurreal South, andTwentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006. His work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize.