Coming October 2018


Shelf Life of Happiness

“The characters in Virginia Pye’s Shelf Life of Happiness experience their lives as a tangle they urgently need to understand before it’s too late. They’re experts on how to keep their hearts in reserve, and they recognize the ache of their own shame in their fear that perhaps those lesser versions of themselves they so often glimpse are who they really are, and yet all they want is to access the appreciative tenderness that’s waiting for them within their best selves. These are deft and moving stories.” —Jim Shepard

“These are terrific stories. The deep surprises their characters keep offering each other show a rare understanding of human nature. From a dying man’s marriage to a small town’s mysterious murders, the emergencies of ordinary life illuminate this book. A joy to read.” —Joan Silber

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Novels by Virginia Pye


Dreams of the Red Phoenix

“Gripping, convincing, and heartbreaking, Dreams of the Red Phoenix is powerfully evocative of the complexities of life in 1930s China. A real page-turner and thought-provoker—wonderful.” —Gish Jen

“There’s a comparison to Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, but this unflinching look at a brutal era in a faraway place shares truth in its own way.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A tale of idealism and courage, deceit and treachery, Dreams of the Red Phoenix blends religion, family, geopolitics and history into a hearty, heartwarming and heart-rending feast of fact-based fiction, one inspired by Pye’s imagination and rendered with care and love.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

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River of Dust

River of Dust is mysterious, exotic, creepy—everything ignorant foreigners used to believe China to be. A fine journey, well worth the effort.” —Carolyn See The Washington Post

“Terrific, tremendous, wonderful...a strong beautiful, deep book.” —Annie Dillard

“A gemstone of a novel...River of Dust is a masterpiece.” —Caroline Leavitt

“Virginia Pye’s River of Dust is a remarkable novel in the ways that delight me the most: It has a compelling narrative voice, a dynamic story and a deep resonance into the universal human condition, all of which is inextricably bound together. This is a major work by a
splendid writer.” —Robert Olen Butler

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