Reviews and honors for Patricia Ann McNair’s The Temple of Air:
Winner! The Temple of Air chosen as The Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year in Traditional Fiction.
Winner! The Temple of Air chosen as Devil’s Kitchen Reading Awardee in Prose, Southern Illinois University Carbondale Grassroots literary magazine and Devil’s Kitchen Fall Literary Festival 2012.
Winner! The Temple of Air selected as Society of Midland Authors 2012 Finalist Awardee in Adult Fiction.
Named as a “Don’t Miss” in October’s (2012) Best Books by Caroline Leavitt for Shoptopia.
Patricia Ann McNair named to Newcity’s Lit 50 List: Who Really Books in Chicago 2012.
Chicago Sun-Times calls The Temple of Air “violently creative”…Read the full article here.
Booklist calls The Temple of Air “strongly plotted” and “hard hitting.” “McNair’s plainspoken yet imaginative, complexly unnerving, and haunting stories raise essential questions of fate and will, appearances and truth, guilt and compassion.” Read the rest here.
The Nervous Breakdown calls it a “stunning debut” and says “the bones of the book glimmer…” Read the rest here.
“…an immersive read…”: Time Out Chicago. Read the rest here.
And from Newcity: “The stories in Patricia Ann McNair’s debut collection The Temple of Air are steeped in a particular brand of hospitality and violence. They are definitively Midwestern, navigating deftly between the everyday and the disturbing, the prosaic and the poetic.” Read the rest here.
Read what else people are saying:
“The Temple of Air is a book of unusual pleasures, each story offers the reader a small roller coaster of anticipation, fear, surprise, recognition, satisfaction. This is a beautiful book, intense and original.” – Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
“Patricia Ann McNair’s first collection of fiction celebrates the extraordinary potential of ordinary lives in ways that will leave you breathless. The Temple of Air is bright, breezy, bold: a riveting debut.” – A. Manette Ansay, author of Blue Water and Good Things I Wish You
“The Temple of Air isn’t just a story collection. It’s a séance of dark secrets, a confessional booth, a therapist’s couch, a thin wall that I press my ear up against. It’s a collection of fever-dreams: often haunting, always beautiful. These are lyrical stories that sear themselves into the reader’s subconscious, and we are incredibly lucky that Patricia Ann McNair has written them. I can’t wait to read more.” – John McNally, author of After the Workshop and The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide
“Patricia Ann McNair’s stories in Temple of Air ring like a bell with hard truth told well, told in such a way that you love the sound even as it breaks your heart. It’s a rare collection that combines power and tonal authority. ‘Gritty’ is not the right word, though there is plenty of grit in the old sense of the word. Rather, these narratives are fierce, fearless, brave, as stylistically pure as Ray Carver, as hard hitting as Mary Gaitskill, as lyrically impassioned as Stu Dybek. Still, Patty Ann McNair is an original, a straight shooter with poise; a writer who writes hard stuff with grace. Even when her characters miss their good chances or hurt what they love, we feel compassion, we hear the pure note of human pathos. You won’t be able to stop; you won’t be able to put these stories down.” – Anne-Marie Oomen, author of Uncoded Woman and An American Map
“These stories speak to us in voices that are clear, urgent, tough, and shockingly wise. Patricia Ann McNair’s The Temple of Air is about the spiritual resilience of endangered children, the survival methods of battered adults, and the presence of grace even in our ruined century.” – David Huddle, author of La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl and The Writing Habit
“It dawned on me, midway through The Temple of Air, that I was reading. I’d forgotten. The voices of Patricia Ann McNair’s characters whisper directly into your ear, inhabiting their stories so completely that the author herself becomes invisible, and the stories simply flow, looping gracefully backward and forward, encircling and encompassing one another like an ancient Celtic etching. And what tales these characters tell—of broken homes and broken bodies, broken hearts and dreams,but they tell them with such pathos and compassion that it also began to dawn on me why they had come to live where they do, in a place called New Hope. The Temple of Air is a wise and masterful book.”– Dennis McFadden, author of Hart’s Grove
From babysitter to bus ticket salesman, construction worker to cult leader, the residents of New Hope chase their dreams and suffer their disappointments against the subtle backdrop of a Midwestern landscape. In the manner of the Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge, and the iconic Winesburg, Ohio, Patricia Ann McNair’s debut story collectionThe Temple of Air links the lives and stories of a place and its people through tragedy and consequence, blind faith and redemption. Unapologetically in your face, these tales dig into your subconscious and leave you haunted.
The Temple of Air: Order now from Elephant Rock Books
In other news: “Things You Know But Would Rather Not,” a new story by Patricia Ann McNair, has been named a finalist for the American Fiction Prize! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be announced soon. All finalists will be published in American Fiction vol. 13: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers.
AND: “Things You Know But Would Rather Not” received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest.