“Never underestimate the secret ferocity of quiet women. In a vibrant collection of stories featuring an unforgettable cast of characters, Presman creates something intensely human out of mere words. She ensures readers see the fun alongside the fury, the heartiness inside the hardship, and the rich complexities of the memories that come out of the cupboard with the good dishes.” - Stacy Bierlein, A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends “What a duality Mary Ann Presman presents in her story collection, The Good Dishes, the facade that we all present and the reality that we all know. The characters in these vibrant, wonderful stories live their double lives in the most intriguing of ways, Presman willing to toe the line between truth and lie or blow things up in either direction. The stories in The Good Dishes never fail to pique our imagination or force us to reflect on our own dichotomous every days, knowing exactly when to pull down the china or just eat straight out of the bag.” — Michael Czyzniejewski, author of I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories “In precise and direct prose, Mary Ann Presman writes like a dream, creating in these 18 short stories a gallery of compelling characters in all manner of situations that feel real and true. She displays a deep understanding of what makes people tick, and not always in the best and kindest ways. But you will remember the residents of her world for keeps.” - Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune A&E columnist “Presman's unflinching gaze pokes and prods her characters' lives to pinpoint their softness, vulnerability, fierceness. The love-weary, loveless, always-searching, never-finding characters in this collection remind us of the universality – in all its brilliance and wrenching ache – of the human experience. The Good Dishes' characters thrash through life: mothers on their very last nerve, siblings aching for understanding, children making startling discoveries, young people growing up too fast. Set another place at the table: Mary Ann Presman has arrived.” - Christine Maul Rice, Swarm Theory, Hell Press
Paperback: 240 pages Publishing date: April 1, 2019 Language: English ISBN-10: 1-949180-84-0 ISBN-13: 978-1-949180-84-8 Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Mary Ann Presman’ s first job was as a page in the branch of the local public library—which meant she shelved books. When business was slow, she was actually paid (seventy-cents an hour) while she hid behind bookcases and read to her heart’s content. Thus began a lifelong love of reading that blossomed into a way with words which served her well in various careers as an advertising copywriter, radio disk jockey, and TV weather person. In retirement, she began to attend writing workshops and regards as most helpful the guidance and friendship of Jim Shepard, Julia Glass and Pam Houston. It seems she has now evolved into a writer of short stories and a playwright, fortunately nurtured by two writing groups—one in Tucson led by Margaret Park, and the other in Galena, Illinois, led by Peggy Stortz. She co-authored a collection of stories with James Wolfe—“Curse? There Ain’t No Stinkin’ Chicago Cubs Curse,” and some of her other stories have appeared in anthologies compiled by the Ex Libris Writers of Galena. Mary Ann and her husband Bob live happily in Rockford, Illinois, and Tucson, Arizona.