The Joy of Deception and Other Stories

The Joy of Deception by Gretchen Johnson

by Gretchen Johnson

Gretchen Johnson presents characters you will care about and remember. Among them are a widow reluctantly starting a new life, a young woman who basks in the thrill of unhealthy decisions and runs from the monotony of security, a sex offender who flees town after he is discovered, a slushie machine repairman who knows his work is as important as that of any doctor, and many other people whose flaws, fine points, and idiosyncrasies will grab your attention and keep you turning pages.

Gretchen Johnson understands small towns are big stages. In The Joy of Deception she shows us in well-crafted short stories the odd, the bored, and the trapped. As one of her characters says about a mop that absorbs all the water in a swimming pool, they “wish for that kind of magic” in their lives, and they wait for another life to begin, hoping renewal stands in the wings. Their moments of truth, great beauty, and disappointment seep from the pages. —Jennifer Ravey,

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About the Author

Photo of author Gretchen Johnson, Lamar University

Gretchen Johnson lives in Beaumont, Texas and works as an English instructor at Lamar University. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Blue Bear Review, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Poetry Harbor, Spout Press, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and others. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University.