"Amplified"

Laura Veirs

"Amplified"

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"Mr. Jackson rapped his cane on the living room window. The squirells were stealing the birdseed again. They used to scatter when he rapped at them but now they just packed their cheeks and stared."

So begins "The Bird Feeder", a short story by Laura Veirs, included on this tasteful and thoughtful collection.

229 pages, paperback.

Amplified presents sixteen short stories by some of the most compelling songwriters performing today. With original contributions from Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither, Maria McKee, Patty Larkin, Jim White and Rennie Sparks of The Handsome Family, Amplified showcases artists working in the short story format, many for the first time.

Whether it's Mary Gauthier's haunting story of a girl caught between her warring parents, Rennie Spark's reinvention of the fairy tale, a creepy yet beautifully drawn graphic story by Zak Sally or Cam King's wildly funny apocalyptic Texas tall tale that will make it difficult for the reader to ever think about armadillos the same way again, these stories will break your heart or make you guffaw inappropriately.

The same craftsmanship and narrative drive that these writers evince in their songs are on display in these stories. And who can resist a collection that starts with Maria McKee's opening line, "I had a mystical experience with Johnny Cash's pants..."?