This is the first book of Michael Croley, a young English professor at Denison College in Ohio. He grew up in Corbin, Kentucky, graduated from Western Kentucky University, and earned an M.A. from Florida State and an M.F.A. from Memphis. The thirteen stories here have settings that range from Eastern Kentucky to Ohio to Korea. “Croley’s solid debut, set mostly in small-town Appalachia, explores masculinity, heartbreak, and isolation in 13 emotional stories . . . Readers will relish these melancholy stories of everyday and exceptional tragedies.” ―Publishers Weekly. "Michael Croley shows us the lives most of us inhabit―simple on the surface, with a rich and complicated inner life. His people yearn, fight, and love, make mistakes and gain success, and remain optimistic despite tough circumstances. This book will teach you about humanity and about yourself." ―Chris Offutt. "Michael Croley’s Any Other Place is a story collection of immense power. Croley masterfully gathers disparate worlds through his sympathy and generous grasp. As the characters approach their truths of home, family, and duty, we witness the gorgeous possibility of what ordinary men and women seek―love, acceptance, and forgiveness." ―Min Jin Lee.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Blair/Carolina Wren Press, 2019. 232 pages. Trade paperback.