The Beautiful Name: Four Short Stories, by Helen W. Mallon

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Four lively characters on the hunt for human connection. Four stories about the near-misses of love:


Izzy, whose twin toddlers have her poised for a breakdown, escapes into a sexual danger zone when she tries to wake up her clueless husband.


Teenage Sarah thinks the teacher is in love with her. Then he takes her to isolated woods—where a boy is in even greater peril.


Olivia’s dying for Dad to come to her high school graduation—but he won’t leave his new home in the bathroom.


Chip’s emotional reserve is only exceeded by that of his dying father; meanwhile, Chip’s sister Emily is intent on publishing her tell-all family memoir.

“The book is flat-out terrific… All four stories are wonderful, and the prose–well, it’s vintage Helen W. Mallon, which is to say it’s pure poetry.”
David Jauss

- Poet and media editor, Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Tart, surprising, often funny, these great stories are, above all, a joy to read, leaving us with memorable tales and characters, plus not a little wisdom.”
John Timpane

- Poet and media editor, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Helen W. Mallon’s fiction is relevant, hilarious and intelligent, and I truly care about her characters.
Kitsy Clare

- Author of Model Position & Private Internship in her Art of Love series.