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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Make Me Work, by Ralph Lombreglia

rEprint Series Ebooks

Make Me Work, by Ralph Lombreglia

Lombreglia - Make Me Work - Cover.jpg
Lombreglia - Make Me Work - Cover.jpg

Make Me Work, by Ralph Lombreglia

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Short stories by the author of Men Under Water show thoughtful, conflicted protagonists pushing for balance in their personal relationships and finding hints of meaning in the acutely perceived oddities of contemporary American life. Living primarily on the fringes of academia, media and the arts, the characters are not quite comfortable with either their surroundings or the times. Lisa, a classic-rock disc jockey in small-town Vermont, plays blues songs to get over her ex-husband, an Elvis fanatic. Walter, an actor by trade, writes copy for industrial videos in Boston and discovers the miracle of birth against a backdrop of high-tech laser pranks. Karl, a moderately famous composer back in the 1950s, now labors over a piece inspired by his heart arrhythmia and grumbles as his young protegee/lover heads to New York to pursue performance art. Hoping to escape her drug-addicted son and head for Florida, Josephine buries an icon of St. Joseph in her lawn to expedite the sale of her house.


"Lombreglia combines a sharp eye for weird, resonant detail with a fluid, understated narrative style to achieve work that is both serious and farcical, outlandish and immediate." - Publishers Weekly


Lombreglia is the author of two short-story collections, Men Under Water (Washington Square Press, 1991) and Make Me Work (Penguin, 1995), and has published short stories in to The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, among other magazines. His fiction has also appeared in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories 1987 & 1988, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short StoriesAmerican Stories II: Fiction fromThe Atlantic Monthly and Prize Stories 1996: The O. Henry Awards. He is a 1996 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is at work on a novel and a new collection of short stories.