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Distributed for Autumn House Press

Hallelujah Station and Other Stories

M. Randal O’Wain’s debut short story collection, Hallelujah Station and Other Stories, introduces readers to a wide and diverse cast of characters struggling with and responding to changes and loss. These gritty and poignant stories follow the tragic parts of life, the pieces that may neither start nor end in comfortable resolution and the pieces that make up complex realities. In the first story, a former drug dealer reflects on a life-changing decision he made years ago that ended up hurting the person he most wanted to protect. Later in the collection, we meet a would-be robber who turns out, in strange ways, to be the hero. O’Wain’s characters are often deeply flawed or totally lost, but in each instance, these traits serve to reveal the characters as real, compassionate, and, ultimately, human. Sprinkled with humor and heartache, O’Wain’s stories bring us into contact with the curious, the tragic, and the authentic.

200 pages | 5 1/4 x 8


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"Impressive . . . . there’s something disarming about Hallelujah Station. O’Wain’s writing is energised and confident without tipping into sententiousness."

Literary Review

"Played out across a range of Southern urban settings from Memphis to Asheville, the stories feature a cast of modern misfits encompassing diverse voices. . . . Queer, Black, adolescent, and disabled characters shine with discomfiting rigor, demanding purpose if not freedom from their circumstances. . . .From start to finish, the characters of Hallelujah Station and Other Stories grapple with overwhelming circumstances, refusing to let go. Like Jacob with the Angel, some emerge from their struggles victorious, some wandering, and, all of them, changed."

Southern Review of Books

"O’Wain has beautifully carved out his own space to explore lives we’ve pushed to the margins. There’s suffering aplenty, but there are also dashes of art — poets, Dutch Masters, David Lynch — to leaven the pain. . . . O’Wain strikes me as a writer on the move, increasingly assured of his talent and slant mode of storytelling, firing off gorgeous sentence after gorgeous sentence. The South is quickening with fresh literary blood, shifting toward an emerging generation. M. Randal O’Wain leads the charge, invigorating our tradition and carrying it forward."

Chapter 16

"The characters in O’Wain’s collection are definitely Americans. Everyone has an angle of some kind. . . . The characters in the most danger in Hallelujah Station are the ones who don’t know exactly what they need. Many of them are stuck in a bad spot."

Pittsburgh Quarterly

"O’Wain’s hapless characters seems to make bad situations worse, even if their intentions are noble, or at least vaguely innocent. That makes Hallelujah Station a really entertaining book, meeting these characters, becoming invested in their seedy worlds, then seeing them define what it is to genuinely screw up. This book is a lot of fun, but is gritty and sad at the same time."


“What I admire about the stories in this collection is the way O’Wain writes about love—all kinds of love, between all kinds of people. He knows so much about the wear and tear the heart endures. These tales are riveting, and some of them are dark and sad, but in the end, there’s always a light to follow. O’Wain is an honest writer. He tells the truth.”

Daniel Wallace, author of "Big Fish"

“O’Wain triumphantly brings salvation to the wrong side of the tracks. These stories of outsiders and addicts are thick with difficulty and everyday struggles, but with O’Wain, they transcend. Written with acute awareness and generosity, Hallelujah Station delivers a needed message for our times: every rotten, ruined, worthless thing still shines with light.”

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips, author of "Sleepovers"

Hallelujah Station introduces us to a world populated by indelible misfits, rendered through O’Wain’s piercing talent. Every story in this collection is frenetic, big-hearted, and ferocious.”

Juliet Escoria, author of "Juliet the Maniac"

Table of Contents

Salvation North of Windell Shadow Play Hallelujah Station Gloria Chingada Rembrandt Behind Windows Heads Down Strike Zone Luz

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