Black Lawrence Press

I Am Faithful


  • I Am Faithful is often beautiful, occasionally ugly, and true on every page. Jenny Irish is a writer of great skill and intelligence and most of all heart.
    —Kyle Minor, author of Praying Drunk
  • In this collection of stories, Jenny Irish's sparse, raw prose gathers briny New England interiors, the eyes of old dogs, absent mothers and cold lovers. Each character is filled with the ache of absence, each story a Russian doll packed with glass. You'll want to cradle them to your chest, even knowing that, as you open them, the shards will cut you. A quiet, confident, and unassuming work.
    —Jen Michalski, author of The Summer She Was Under Water
  • What is it to be poor? Discovering an ATM’s smallest withdrawal is more than the little left in your account? Counting out food stamps or working phone scams? Living in a bleak rental or a house made of ‘shiplap and tarpaper and corrugated tin’? Or is it something far more subterranean and corrosive, like the backwards kindness of a grandfather who guns down stray dogs? Or is it women who, with their bodies as their only asset, believe it ‘better to have a husband who beat you bloody than to be single’? And what of their daughters, of their perceived competition, such as a little girl shining ‘like a scrubbed apple’ before her body is found locked in ice? The question of privilege—of what it can buy, really—demands uncomfortable, often violent answers, and Jenny Irish’s unflinching collection, I Am Faithful, holds steady aim, writing the truth, bitter as it may be, that few understand but everyone needs to hear. Reader, witness: here, in burnished, exquisite prose, is a precise telling of class in America, a portrait of those who must compromise to survive, who scrape and save, and though acting out of the grim fury misery provides, they never, under whatever circumstance, deserve to be called ‘trash.
    —Nickole Brown, author of Sister and Fanny Says
  • Often slyly funny and always devastatingly observant, Jenny Irish writes about the precarities of our moment with gorgeous prose and heartbreaking acuity.
    —Laura Kipnis, author of Unwanted Advances
  • Lovely, brutal, and absolutely mesmerizing. Jenny Irish is a genius, and I Am Faithful is a revelation.
    —Jennifer duBois, author of The Spectators
  • Jenny Irish's stories are unflinching glimpses into messy human lives. Finely crafted, the beautiful sentences build. There is ache, there is longing, and then, inevitably, the story bares its teeth.
    —Callan Wink author of Dog Run Moon
  • The characters in I Am Faithful live in the ever-more-uncertain American margins, riding the line between transgression and transcendence, searching for something worthy of the terrifying gift of their faith. In sentences exactingly detailed, blackly comic, and genuinely poignant, Jenny Irish writes prose for the body: her stories stick to your ribs, jostle your heart, jag your muscles with their rhythm and thwack. I Am Faithful is a wondrous book.
    —Murray Farish, author of Inappropriate Behavior
  • There’s poetry woven through these stories, a word not wasted, making Irish’s characters luminous and present. A person’s past is never a thing left behind but the battered motor dragging them ever forward. Jenny Irish writes without fear, divulging the truths that we humans so often keep from one another. Each story resonates through its final sentence.
    —Bojan Louis, author of Currents

Jenny Irish

Jenny Irish lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, Catapult, Colorado Review, Epoch, The Georgia Review, andPloughshares.

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