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Hollows: Flash Stories by Tommy Dean

In Hollows, Tommy Dean reveals the crawlspaces and attics of American families, the places we dread and the places we yearn for—moments we didn’t know we needed until they were already lost. These fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, brothers, wives, and best friends crack and bend under the pressure of conventional love, running away and toward one another, longing for a space to call home, often giving in to the hollow securities of their lives.

In these 45 flash fictions, you’ll find the last two people on Earth, wondering if love or ramen will keep them alive; two brothers racing the Y2K clock as they consider their fear for the future; a son convincing his father to abandon a decrepit house that has come to represent the old man’s stubbornness. These stories thrum with the electricity of wonder, challenged by the open wounds of love and guilt—for parents, for loved ones, for broken selves surviving among their desires to strike out in a world that threatens to harden them into desperate creatures. Dean’s clear and urgent prose unites reader and character as they wind down dark and uncertain paths toward the fading light.

Content Warning: violence, suicide, divorce, death


“Tommy Dean is a master of the flash form, and Hollows is one the most stunning collections of flash fiction to appear in years. Written with delicate precision, each one of these remarkable stories shimmers with emotional intensity and poetic grace and illuminates something new about the ways we struggle to understand ourselves and the people we love most. Subtle, haunting, and gorgeously crafted, these are among the very best flash fictions being written today.”
—Andrew Porter,
author of The Theory of Light and Matter

“It’s a sign of a collection’s power when you come to the last line of the last story and feel a need to sit with your own thoughts awhile. You feel changed in some subtle way. Maybe it’s the low winter light through the windows or the stillness you feel from a suddenly empty house. Tommy Dean brings us ordinary settings and people, so keenly and empathetically observed we can’t help but see them anew. These are tiny, quietly incendiary stories that feel like gathering storm clouds. There’s the same thrill of electricity, the same tingling awareness of wreckage on the horizon. Stories brimming with lovers and friends and families, small town desires and spectacles and cautionary billboards, Hollows pulls together the finest stories Tommy Dean has written to date and should not be missed.”
—Kathy Fish,
author of Wild Life: Collected Works

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• Stories | Flash Fiction
• 5” x 8” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Cream Paper, 162 Pages
• Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-946580-31-3
• Paperback ISBN-10: 1-946580-31-7
• First Edition: March 22, 2022
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Cover design by Leah Angstman, with image by Felix Mittermeier.

TOMMY DEAN is the author of two flash-fiction chapbooks, Special Like the People on TV (Redbird Chapbooks, 2014) and Covenants (ELJ Editions, 2021). He lives in Indiana, where he is currently the editor at Fractured Lit and Uncharted Magazine. A graduate of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA program, he is currently working on a novel. A recipient of the 2019 Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction, his writing can be found in Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020, Best Small Fictions 2019, Monkeybicycle, and Atticus Review. He taught writing workshops for the Gotham Writers Workshop, the Barrelhouse Conversations and Connections conference, and the Lafayette Writers Workshop. Find him at and on Twitter at @TommyDeanWriter.

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