When Kayla Pongrac’s collection came across our submission manager during our 2014 open reading period, there was a collective sigh and a mighty Yes! Kayla’s work is a breath of fresh air, populated with an unexpected and playful assemblage of characters. The cover, illustrated by Shayna Blackford, is just a hint of the magic you’ll find within.
Dinosaurs. Postcards. Hammocks. Fish. Maps. Tea. Piñatas. Trains. Bees.
Caveat lector! The Flexible Truth will startle you. From the wide-ranging subject matter to the careful construction of each piece, Kayla Pongrac’s debut flash fiction collection turns the world as you know it onto its head, then right-side up, then upside-down again. Prepare to meet an eccentric cast of characters who take up residence inside these pages; you, a most welcome trespasser, would be wise to pay close attention to their quirks and their struggles, their moods and their actions. Remember, be kind to the bartender. Show some sympathy for that dentist. Turn shovelfuls of soil with the gardener. These characters will, you see, return your favors and you’ll find that the truth really is flexible, and with that flexibility comes an unexpected sense of credibility—and beauty.
Advanced praise for The Flexible Truth:
“The flash fictions of Kayla Pongrac are playful and unique. These brief narratives often rely on odd disjunctures and strange juxtapositions (e.g., a locomotive can appear, quite literally, on a tongue). The titles are some of the most inventive you will ever see (‘The Benefit of Reading the Newspaper,’ ‘My Disappointment with Your Dentist,’ ‘Excerpts from Your Week as I Imagined It’). Familiar forms like the advice column get repurposed (see ‘Dear Murph,’ who never quite speaks to the questions he is asked). Imagine Lydia Davis and Gary Lutz in a fine coffee shop playing the old surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, and you’ll get half an idea what The Flexible Truth is all about.”
—Michael W. Cox, author of Against the Hidden River
“The innovative fictions that make up the The Flexible Truth are poignant, funny, provocative, and rhetorically sparkling. Pongrac, with her novelist’s eye and her poet’s ear, juggles and jumbles non sequiturs, riddles, and juxtapositions into truncated yet startling moments of resonance.”
—Tom Noyes, author of Behold Faith, Spooky Action at a Distance, and Come by Here
“Readers who open The Flexible Truth will find themselves in an urgent and unknowable land. With startling language and innovative form, these brief fictions cover significant ground, from mass extinction to existential crises to the passing of time and the end of the world. Pongrac’s stories offer a rich array of anxiety, hope, longing, and loneliness written with an immediacy that cannot be dismissed.”
—Laura Maylene Walter, author of Living Arrangements
Pre-order your copy of The Flexible Truth here. We expect to begin mailing orders in late March.
If you like Kayla’s writing and Shayna’s illustrations, be sure to take a gander at the fabulous Playing Cards / Cards Playing they collaborated on. It’s a fully functional deck unlike any other!