HELLO, I LOVE YOU: STORIES OF ROMANCE, a collection of twelve stories published in the Missouri Review, explores the landscape of love and attraction. Most are lighthearted as they depict the folly of the heart. In Deborah Galyan’s “The Incredible Appearing Man,” a free-spirited lover from Lora’s past shows up during moments when she is at a crossroads, tempting her to flee the life she has chosen as wife, mother, and schoolteacher. One by one, the former lovers of Joy Baglio’s unnamed narrator in “They Could Have Been Yours” announce their engagements to other women on social media. This disrupts her life to such a degree that she develops a power that at first seems like ideal revenge but proves to be something entirely different. The lover in Aimee Bender’s story “The Rememberer” is disappearing, going through a state of reverse evolution. One day he is the man Annie fell in love with, the next day an ape, and then a salamander living in a cooking pan on her kitchen counter. She discovers that sometimes love does mean letting go. Realism also abounds in this collection, with stories that depict everything from the emotional tumult of longtime marriage to the intense desire of youthful infatuation. Kenny, the lifeguard in Kevin Canty’s coming-of-age story “Blue Boy,” has fantasies of “the opaque and beautiful” Mrs. Jordan while she swims her daily fifty laps. Near tragedy brings them together, a brief friendship is forged, and lust gives way to mutual understanding. The lyrical beauty of William Harrison’s “Eleven Beds” is a tribute to long-term love. Despite the obstacles of early career, brief affairs, the trials of parenthood and the insults of old age, Will and Myla remain devoted to each other and hope to be reunited after death in the “galaxies beyond imagination.” The stories in HELLO, I LOVE YOU remind us that the course of love seldom runs smoothly, but it is one of life’s greatest pleasures and literature’s richest sources of entertainment.
“I sit on a rock, gasping for air, and pry at the ring. Despite my lack of physicality, the ring has always been the one thing I can feel concretely in this lucid dream of haunting.” — From “They Could Have Been Yours” by Joy Baglio
“He devoted himself to lust instead. Enthroned on his aluminum stand, behind the darkest of dark sunglasses, Kenny studied the girls and women who dithered in the shallows or lay, idle as lizards, on the scattered chaise lounges. He loved to see the pale side of a woman’s breast as she lay stretched, top undone, arms over her head: or the pale skin at the edge of her swimsuit bottom like a promise.” — From
“Blue Boy” by Kevin Canty
“After a week of such meetings in a room on Broom Street, we began, inexplicably, to laugh, and the longer we laughed the longer we could sustain our lovemaking. He gave off bouquets of wild rose bergamot, sweet as the Wisconsin prairie. After a while, I found a way of transforming the guilt of adultery into a sort of sluiceway, riding it down to the gates of a kind of fierce unmanageable ecstasy.” — From
“The Incredible Appearing Man” by Deborah Galyan
Fiction. Short Stories. Anthology.
Missouri Review Books editors Kristine Somerville and Speer Morgan bring a combined editorial experience of nearly eighty years to publishing literary works by writers of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. A professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia since 1972, Morgan is among the most respected editors in literary publishing. The author of five novels and a collection of short stories and the editor of three other books, he's a past recipient of an NEA Fellowship for Fiction and the recipient of an American Book Award for The Freshour Cylinders, a novel published in 1998. Somerville's work has appeared in a variety of magazines, including the North American Review, Passages North, Quarterly West, and New Voices from the Academy of American Poets. She oversees the Missouri Review's various promotional efforts, including direct mail, national advertising, fundraising dinners, and charity events. Somerville also oversees the Missouri Review's cover design and artwork, and writes TMR's "found text" and art features.