Grind

Overview


Convicts round up wild mustangs, a schizophrenic homeless man wins the jackpot and disappears, a truck driver with a child's mind spends his last hours in the embrace of a prostitute's photos—disparate and vivid, Mark Maynard's characters intersect in the new wild west of Reno, Nevada.

“Throughout the volume’s eight tenuously linked tales, lives and fortune are lost, and the city of Reno emerges as a locus of shattered souls. Maynard’s debut collection bursts with idiosyncratic characters…packs a strong ...

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Grind

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Overview


Convicts round up wild mustangs, a schizophrenic homeless man wins the jackpot and disappears, a truck driver with a child's mind spends his last hours in the embrace of a prostitute's photos—disparate and vivid, Mark Maynard's characters intersect in the new wild west of Reno, Nevada.

“Throughout the volume’s eight tenuously linked tales, lives and fortune are lost, and the city of Reno emerges as a locus of shattered souls. Maynard’s debut collection bursts with idiosyncratic characters…packs a strong emotional punch…is strangely entertaining.”
Publishers Weekly

“In Grind, Maynard reveals a world the Nevada tourism board would rather you didn’t see…A debut collection of stories that perfectly captures the seediness, desperation and sense of loss permeating the hot desert world of Reno.”
Shelf Awareness

“Mark Maynard’s Reno is so sleazily appealing, so filled with convict cowboys, wild horses, racing pilots, truckers, snow bums, eco-terrorists, tattoo conventions, pawnshops and jackpots that you emerge from reading Grind dazed by this author’s empathy for neglected quarters of humanity. You feel gritty all over—and more alive.”
Carolyn Cooke, author of Daughters of the Revolution

“The characters in these stories are as beautiful and broken as the desert itself. Mark Maynard explores the stony truths of lost lives with an unflinching eye for detail, an insider's sense of the place and its people, and an honest compassion. The heartbreaks here are real, as are the moments of uncommon grace and hard-won redemption.”
Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men

“Mark Maynard's Grind is chock full of men and women who are desperate with want and full of spirit. Pawnbrokers. Truckers. Casino shills. Prison inmates. They're all here, and they're all gloriously alive. This is prime American fiction—tough, generous, and open-eyed.”
Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto

Grind is exactly what I like in a locally based book. Plenty of those characters who make a visit to the environs of Reno both an exciting potential and an illicit affair…This is a Northern Nevada book.”
D. Brian Burghart, Reno News & Review

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While Maynard’s debut collection bursts with idiosyncratic characters, the end result is an uneven affair punctuated by the occasional shimmer. Throughout the volume’s eight tenuously linked tales, lives and fortune are lost, and the city of Reno emerges as a locus of shattered souls. “Jackpot” finds a schizophrenic derelict wandering into the Mother Lode Casino, hitting a million slot machine windfall, and then quietly slipping away, without the money. In “Around the Bend,” an old man with a clouded mind escapes his home and drifts to the train tracks, hoping to climb aboard an oncoming locomotive. A mentally impaired truck driver roams the streets in a snowstorm, stopping only to visit the site of his mother’s death, in “Deadheading.” There’s a similitude found in the intellect and actions of these characters that, despite Maynard’s ambition, locks Grind into a repetitive pattern. Additionally, the author’s occasionally abrupt shifts in tone—particularly in “Steep,” a tale concerning rogue skiers turned environmental terrorists—translate as slipshod and undercooked. But bright spots do emerge. The very brief “Letdown” packs a strong emotional punch, chronicling a mother who stockpiles her breast milk even after her child has died. And “Trading Up,” with its psychic pawnbroker, is strangely entertaining. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937226039
  • Publisher: Torrey House Press
  • Publication date: 12/18/2012
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Maynard teaches creative writing and composition at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada where he is the Fiction Editor for The Meadow. A graduate of the MFA program at Antioch University, his work has appeared in Our Stories, Shelf Life Magazine, The Duck and Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide.
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