Books by Virginia Pye

2019 Independent Publisher Book Award  Gold Medal for Short Story Fiction

2019 Independent Publisher Book Award
Gold Medal for Short Story Fiction

“The damage, cost, and redemptive force of love appears again and again in this remarkable collection. But it’d be a mistake to think Pye is simply breaking our hearts. Underneath, she’s fracking the existential bedrock of our lives....Shelf Life of Happiness is an act of communion. Pye’s characters fall and break the way we fall and break, characters so real we’re caught in the desperate leaps their hearts take to survive. Wise, compassionate, beautiful and unsettling, these stories uncover the tough, elusive hope that holds us together.” —Charles Duffie, Heavy Feather Review

Shelf Life of Happiness

“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

“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....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

“Sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, always moving, Shelf Life of Happiness rewards the discerning reader who seeks not only entertainment but also wisdom.” —Richmond Times Dispatch

Shelf Life of Happiness is remarkable. Virginia Pye writes with a sharp eye and a compassionate heart. Sly, insightful, and vivid, these are some of the best stories I have read in years. These tales amaze with their yearning, with their wisdom, and with their love.” —Jennifer Finney Boylan

“Shelf Life of Happiness is a collection of impressive range and deep emotional intelligence. These are stories... that are remembered later with such clarity and feeling that they seem like one’s own memories.” —Kelly Luce

“...a deeply moving meditation on the complexity and potential generosity of love.” —Kirkus Reviews

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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

“Virginia Pye vividly imagines Dreams of the Red Phoenix.” —Vanity Fair

“Pye is a remarkable writer, and it shows in this harrowing tale of loss and war.” —Book Riot

“Superb historical fiction!” —Historical Novels Review

“Riveting.” —Library Journal

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River of Dust

“A vividly imagined and beautifully drawn picture of the life of Christian missionaries in China in the early 20th century.” —Jung Chang

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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