Virginia Pye's collection, SHELF LIFE OF HAPPINESS, won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Gold Medal Award for Short Fiction and one of the stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, RIVER OF DUST, (Unbridled Books) was an Indie Next Pick and a 2013 Finalist for the Virginia Literary Award in Fiction. Her second novel, DREAMS OF THE RED PHOENIX, (also Unbridled Books), was named a Best Book of 2015 by the Richmond Times Dispatch. Her stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in Literary Hub, The New York Times, The North American Review, The Baltimore Review, The Tampa Review, The Rumpus, Huffington Post and elsewhere. Virginia holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from Wesleyan University. She has taught writing at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, in high schools and most recently in Boston at the GrubStreet Writing Center. To find out more visit: www.virginiapye.com, or find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Shelf Life of Happiness
“These are terrific stories. The deep surprises their characters keep offering each other show a rare understanding of human nature. From a dying man’s marriage to a small town’s mysterious murders, the emergencies of ordinary life illuminate this book. A joy to read.”--Joan Silber
“The characters in Virginia Pye’s Shelf Life of Happiness experience their lives as a tangle they urgently need to understand before it’s too late. They’re experts on how to keep their hearts in reserve....yet all they want is to access the appreciative tenderness that’s waiting for them within their best selves. These are deft and moving stories.”--Jim Shepard
“Shelf Life of Happiness is remarkable. Virginia Pye writes with a sharp eye and a compassionate heart. Sly, insightful, and vivid, these are some of the best stories I have read in years. These tales amaze with their yearning, with their wisdom, and with their love.”--Jennifer Finney Boylan
“The damage, cost, and redemptive force of love appears again and again in this remarkable collection. But it’d be a mistake to think Pye is simply breaking our hearts. Underneath, she’s fracking the existential bedrock of our lives....Shelf Life of Happiness is an act of communion. Pye’s characters fall and break the way we fall and break, characters so real we’re caught in the desperate leaps their hearts take to survive. Wise, compassionate, beautiful and unsettling, these stories uncover the tough, elusive hope that holds us together.” --Charles Duffie, Heavy Feather Review
“...a deeply moving meditation on the complexity and potential generosity of love.”--Kirkus Reviews
Dreams of the Red Phoenix, a novel2015
River of Dust, a novel2013
Awards and Recognition
- 2019 IPPY Gold Medal, Short Fiction, for SHELF LIFE OF HAPPINESS. 2018 a Best Book of the Year, Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA, for DREAMS OF THE RED PHOENIX. 2015 Silver Medal for Fiction, Virginia Literary Award for RIVER OF DUST and Indie Next Pick, May, 2013, RIVER OF DUST.