What I Remember of My Love Affair with the Bird and Other Stories is available from the Cupboard Pamphlet as of today! You can buy a copy from their website for $10. The book is a collection of ten of my short-short stories, almost all of which were published in literary journals between 2007 and 2013. It’s 60 pages long, perfect bound, and has a gorgeous cover.
The Cupboard Pamphlet publishes marvelous work. I’m completely delighted and honored for these stories to be joining their catalog, and I’m grateful to Kelly Dulaney and Todd Seabrook for having selected it to be #43 in their quarterly series.
If you, like me, can’t get enough of the anthropomorphic marigold piano and its hibiscus background, you can enjoy the Cupboard Pamphlet’s tweets this past week, and the teaser images they’ve made based on the cover, from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today.
Finally, I’m also grateful to Chris Adrian, Jessica Anthony, Abbey Mei Otis, Matthew Sharpe, and Gary Shteyngart for their kind words about the book. You can read the following on the Cupboard Pamphlet’s book page, in addition to their amazing description of the book—I think my favorite two sentences are the last two: “So turn back the border. Your own country’s catastrophes will have to satisfy you”—but I’m going to share them here as well, below.
We’re still drowning in our own country’s uniquely catastrophic version of the world’s present catastrophe, which obviously makes it impossible to do any conventional book release things like in-person readings. But if we do anything like a Zoom reading—or if I come up with any ways in which this small book can do some small good in the world (Barthelme: “[A]rt’s project is fundamentally meliorative. The aim of meditating about the world is finally to change the world”)—then I’ll mention it here on this unpredictably, sporadically updated personal website.
But for now: blurbs.
Like Lydia Davis and Donald Barthelme had a really smart, really funny baby.
—Chris Adrian, author of The Children’s Hospital
What I Remember of my Love Affair with the Bird is a brilliant flock of short-short stories. These hilarious, deadpan recollections and ruminations somehow transmogrify into incisive commentary on 21st century consciousness in just a few pages. Flawed, despairing first person narrators seeking hope abound, with revelations that dance on the head of a pin. I didn’t want this collection to end.
— Jessica Anthony, author of Enter the Aardvark
What I Remember of my Love Affair with the Bird gives us stories like tiny and tumultuous countries to be traveled through, banished from, remembered with the ache of exile. Hopkins leaps effortlessly between the mundane indignities of life in our global present, and marvelous impossibilities; both are revealed as equally inexplicable and inescapable. The geopolitics of a whole nation is mapped onto a body, the body is doing its best, its best is not nearly enough. You can wait for weeks at the border checkpoint, you can apply for a special visa, you can throw yourself into the water, you can trade your life for a stranger’s, you can close the book but you can’t ever really leave.
—Abbey Mei Otis, author of Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories
Can flash fiction be political, as well as intimate, weird, melancholy, funny, philosophical, and evocative of a whole world? The answer, in this beautiful collection by Tom Hopkins, is a resounding yes.
—Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father and Jamestown
A brilliant and much needed antidote for our fearful times. This is flash fiction as it’s meant to be. Thoughtful, smart, provocative and oh so funny.
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Lake Success and Super Sad True Love Story