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This collection of short fiction from novelist Audrey Kalman opens a door on ordinary worlds turned extraordinary, where deeper meaning hides beneath everyday conversations and the possibility of tragedy—and redemption—is always close at hand.

Jody catalogues her parental failures as she worries whether her ballet-crazed teen daughter will make it onto the stage. C.J. adopts his dead grandmother’s dog, risking eviction but opening himself to the possibility of love. Brianna uses a spoonful of pudding as a weapon. Judy begins a secret life as an erotica writer. Jake’s Bar Mitvah preparations reveal tensions that threaten to split his family.

The women, men, children, dogs, and cats in these stories fight their worst impulses, circle each other warily, and occasionally connect. They struggle to make sense of the world and their place in it, with results sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, and always relatable.

I cannot understand why the literary world doesn’t make a bigger fuss over Audrey Kalman. She’s as good as it gets! (read full review)

—Elise Frances Miller, Author of The Berkeley Girl in Paris and The Berkeley Girl: Rendezvous in London

Kalman’s courage in tackling difficult subjects (unplanned pregnancy, psoriasis, adultery, anorexia, autism, depression and death) her gift for language, and her understanding of human nature make Tiny Shoes Dancing a book to keep and reread. (read full review)

—Ruth Latta, Compulsive Reader Review

This is strong stuff. You start watching people at the supermarket, speculating about their inner demons, half-expecting an encounter. (read full review)

—Bill Baynes, Author of The Occupation of Joe and Bunt

Many of the stories are dark…[a]nd all of them are visceral, their emotional prose reaching not only your eyes and brain, but your heart as well. (read full review)

—Carrie Rubin, Author of The Bone Curse, Eating Bull, and The Seneca Scourge

Enjoy [these stories] one at a time when you’re ready for a wake-up call, preferably followed by a friendly cup of coffee and a recommitment to never taking the people in your life for granted. (read full review)

—Jessie Horness, Foreword Magazine, July/August 2018