King of the Gypsies: Stories (Paperback)

King of the Gypsies: Stories By Lenore Myka Cover Image
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A new generation in Romania—with a few American friends—face
communism’s ghosts with desperation and dreams. Set against a wild and haunting landscape, the short fiction in this collection spotlight the struggles of everyday individuals to overcome the ghosts they have inherited from Romania's communist past. The book won BkMk's G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by PEN/Faulkner finalist Lorraine M. López, who writes, “Myka's characters release uncountable fibers, connecting them to one another in the linked narratives, binding them to the harshly beguiling Romania they inhabit and that inhabits them.”

“Myka’s first collection features longing, lonely characters searching for connection on unfamiliar terrains… Myka’s 11 tales effectively capture those moments in life when we find ourselves frozen at the edge of a cliff.”

About the Author

Raised outside of Buffalo, New York, Lenore Myka has published fiction in such journals as the Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, and the New England Review. She has won fiction awards from Cream City Review and Booth Journal, and her work has been listed as notable from Best
 American Short Stories and Best American Nonrequired Reading. A graduate of the University of Rochester, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Warren Wilson College’s MFA program, she served in the Peace Corps in Romania. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. King of the Gypsies is her first book.

Praise For…

King of the Gypsies is a debut to relish and celebrate. Infused with resonating insights, these stories animate the struggles of individuals who are navigating life in an unfamiliar culture. Whether the condition of foreignness is perceived as threatening or exhilarating, oppressive or 
liberating, it becomes motivation in this collection to think sensitively, boldly, and creatively about identity.”
—Joanna Scott, De Potter’s Grand Tour, The Manikin

“Beautifully realized stories of dislocation, yearning and exploration. Lenore Myka has a way of unfolding cultures and characters in mid-flight, flushing Romania or complicated friendships or the mysteries of people’s inner lives quickly and skillfully to the surface. A rich and vibrant debut.”

—Dominic Smith, Bright and Distant Shores

“Lenore Myka’s work offers the reader an intimate connection to characters who have their very lives at stake as they transcend the complex illusions that are the outcome of hopelessness and helplessness. These are unforgettable stories of love’s last extraordinary efforts, and its first. Kingof the Gypsies presents the most mercy-inspiring tragic fiction you will likely ever read in contemporary literature.”

—Kevin McIlvoy, The Fifth Station, Little Peg, HyssopThe Complete History of New Mexico and Other Stories

“Romania links the characters in this fascinating debut collection, but its territory transcends a single country or history. With great empathy and impressive range, Lenore Myka has given voice to a range of memorable characters—the displaced and the privileged, the lost and the found—and captured their complex longings in stories that leave you moved, unsettled and ultimately satisfied.”
—Christopher Castellani, All This Talk of Love

“Lenore Myka is a skilled craftswoman, sketching stories so exquisite and sincere that their power is unexpected and often fierce. She imbues each tale with candor and nuance, letting her
 characters thunder forth on their own, unprotected from life’s realities yet carried by the dream of how things could be. The result is a portrait of Romania painted by its disenfranchised, its émigrés, and its foreigners, that shakes off stereotypes—or digs down to their roots—and hones in on the hopes and the vulnerabilities that dwell in the human soul. Rarely have I felt so quickly drawn in to a collection of short stories. Rarely have I wanted to begin again as soon as I reached the end.”
—Sarah Erdman, Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village

“The stories in Lenore Myka’s King of the Gypsies do what we want great fiction to do—illuminate the world for us with fresh lighting. Under Myka’s unblinking gaze, the world illuminated is both harrowing and heart-wrenching—Romanian orphans and street kids fighting for survival, the trafficking of teen
prostitutes by their ‘husbands’/pimps, American aid workers (and American parents of adopted Romanian orphans), feeling out of their depth while trying to help. These are stories complex
and relentless, their characters unsparingly yet empathetically 
observed, the moments of quiet connection rich and startling.
Lenore Myka’s triumph is that she illuminates not just with fresh lighting, but with lightning.”
—CJ Hribal, The Company Car and The Clouds in Memphis

“Lenore Myka’s collection of short stories, King of the Gypsies,
heralds the debut of an extraordinary writer. With compassion, insight, breadth of knowledge, black humor, and an exquisite use of language, Myka crosses from Romania to the United States and back again, telling tales of characters cruelly haunted by having lived under totalitarian rule. Each story is brimming
with wisdom about the human condition; this is an author I would trust and follow anywhere.”
—Marnie Mueller, Green Fires, The Climate of the Country, and My Mother’s Island

Product Details
ISBN: 9781886157996
ISBN-10: 1886157995
Publisher: BKMK Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Pages: 216
Language: English