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"Tina Barry's first collection of poems and short fiction, Mall Flower, is a strip-tease of voices and situations that will leave you longing to know what happens in the end. From the 'Mall Flower' who struts her youth, to a well-mannered vagina cordially inviting the reader to a party in 'Party at my Place', one watches a cinematic poem take place on the page. There is romanticism in the way Barry discovers the life around her. In 'Peonies', though noticing the unattractiveness of a neighbor, she still dresses 'carefully.' Barry extends images that would fill up a football field. In 'Life of Charlotte', she creates slices of life: failed marriage blamed on the stains of a young bride's dress coupled with a theatrical moon engorged on the attention of the watchers below. You will want to exist around Barry just to be penned into one of her carefully articulated pieces."

~ Aimee Herman, To go without blinking, Woke up feeling, and Rooted

Mall Flower

  • "Mall Flower by Tina Barry is a collection of minimalist stories and poems about ordinary characters undergoing extraordinarily loss. A child, hungry for attention before her parents’ divorce, rakes the hair on her father’s legs with a doll’s comb; a family in need of saving, prays to a god in a pink negligee; outside a sweetly wallpapered bedroom, a neighbor’s dead deer is trussed to a child’s swing set. Brassy, unbeautiful, but very cool characters. No matter how hard they try, they falter with their 'crowns tilted at unflattering angles.' They are us. And how fortunate we are to have Barry’s amusing voice bringing us these beautiful quirky stories.

    ~ Barbara Henning, A Day Like Today

     

    "Tina Barry is a master of the image that packs it all in: social commentary, pathos, humor, you name it. In her stunning debut, she revels in the glorious absurdity of growing up and getting old. No matter how outrageous Barry’s poems are, no one would ever doubt their truth. There’s an exactness to her images and a candor to her voice that--even as it’s whispering--screams authenticity. You should enjoy reading Mall Flower everywhere poetry is allowed: the public pool, the bedroom, even the food court."

    ~ Joanna Fuhrman, The Year of Yellow Butterflies

     

    "Mall Flower is a combination found object, chronicle, and artful synthesis. Writer Tina Barry tricks out her interplay of short fiction and poetry with beautifully rendered recollections of family, teenage fragility, and workshops at their most ferocious, wistful, and true. Again and again I found myself happy to trust the untrustworthy. Barry writes, 'Gone is the word for enchantment,' then lays the groundwork for a sorcery which disdains vocabulary because, well, things happen, folks. Barry makes them happen. I so admire these poems, this book, and your decision to read it."

    ~ Sarah Sarai, The Future Is Happy

     

    "Tina Barry’s aptly-titled Mall Flower shimmers with delicate and gritty insights. Barry is a writer of great warmth, intelligence and wit; the poems and stories in her delightful debut collection will move and surprise you."

    ~ Jessica Hagedorn, Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangers of Love and Dogeaters