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Step right up and meet a woman so determined to be a star she’ll try anything, including spray on Instant Fame! Meet her reflection, who dreams of a life of her own and manages to find love on the Internet! See the man desperately trying to earn a world record in the most bizarre way possible! Learn the origins of the Four-Legged Woman and the Human Skeleton! Clown mothers, suicidal ringmasters, cult leader who teach the cha-cha and Alaska Jackson’s Traveling Medicine Show…each one takes center stage in this vaudeville of flash fiction. Flash fiction, microfiction, short-short stories… regardless of the name, it’s all the same—a compressed story that packs a punch. Enter a cabaret of the weird, the absurd, and the bizarre with this bold and bawdy new collection.

Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities


    “Madam Velvet, Hah! This Cabaret of Oddities is pure Stohlman—wild world records, mothers as clowns, circus performers like the ape lady, the human pincushion, and dog-faced boy-- topped by the Fantasy Hand Job Brothel. We will all be returning to this startling and outrageous collection for years to come.” - Pamela Painter, Ways to Spend the Night


    “Nancy Stohlman’s writing is so damn sharp here. And each of these shards that make up Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities is connected by this silly-sad-hopeful-absurd-melancholic web that catches everything you do not want, and you’ll find yourself longing for what’s not caught. But you will end up caught in the web too, with all of that mess. I’ve never read a book like this, and I’m excited to hear all of the conversations surrounding it.” - Steven Dunn, Water and Power


    Madam Velvet's Cabaret of Oddities is a work of irrepressible imagination, bawdy, dire, and endlessly appealing. It's also a memoir by means of dissociation—an exercise that goes to the heart of fiction, and anyone alive.”- Robert Shapard, co-editor W.W. Norton Anthology Series in Sudden and Flash Fiction


    “Nancy Stohlman writes all of her stories with moxie and flare, and her singular verve vibrates through her latest collection. She takes the reader on a carnivalesque but touching ride through a hall of mirrors that includes misfits, eccentrics, and outcasts. Be careful to look twice through the mirrors in these stories because there is always more to see.” - Grant Faulkner, Fissures

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