In abuse situations, people can go to court for orders of protection. But in these twelve stories, people also seek protection from various demons in unusual ways — by impersonating famous musicians, cooking pet chickens, marching in parades, shooting at coyotes, calling lost dogs, and more. The characters don’t always find their way to safety or even survival, but somehow optimism prevails anyway. Set in Illinois, these subtly linked stories explore circumstances and emotions through details that stay with you far beyond the last page.
“This debut collection marks Hollmeyer’s place among storytellers, sentence-scalpel-wielders, & empathetic observers.” — Derek Berry, author of Heathens & Liars of Lickskillet County
Read the full review in Free State Review
“Orders of Protection floored me. The range of style, voice, and angles of approach had me checking over and over to confirm I was still reading the same magical book. However, these stories do more than sing their own unique songs. As I read, the myriad voices came together in a perfect harmony of pain, longing, fear, and, however strangely, comfort. It’s been a long time since I read a story collection with such excitement, so eager to see what each new installment would bring.” — Colin Winnette, author of The Job of the Wasp and Haints Stay and Katherine Anne Porter Prize judge
“Jenn Hollmeyer writes deftly, with a poet’s clarity, about ordinary disappointments in life, secrets, and the keepers of those secrets and disappointments who feel achingly familiar. This is a robust collection of stories to savor.” — Patricia Henley, author of Other Heartbreaks
“The prize-winning collection, Orders of Protection, introduces a wonderfully talented writer. Jenn Hollmeyer has a keen eye for the subtleties and pitfalls of family life. She’s smart, tough-minded, and compassionate.” — Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of The Writing on the Wall
“Jenn Hollmeyer’s sentences come awake on the page and quickly work their way in under the skin. They move forward with rich implication, but they will also bring the reader to a sudden stop. A writer with a deeply engaged imagination, and a strong moral conscience, Hollmeyer has stepped up and claimed her voice.” — Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age