The Museum of Marriage

Museum of Marriage

by C.W. Smith

This collection of short stories showcases characters struggling with the demands and mysteries of the solitary life, romance, and marriage. The young men of "The Balcony Scene" and "Big Rig" worry over their futures with those exotic creatures of another sex; the women in "The Marriage Museum" and "Leave Me Be!" wrestle with their emotional turmoil about their relationships. The most uplifting picture of these very knotty human dilemmas comes in "Suitors," where a young woman must choose between two equally worthy men. Having given her heart to a longtime but distant lover, she's unexpectedly attracted to another closer by. "That he could arouse her interest was a little thrilling but also frightening, promising in equal measures the rosy pleasures of infatuation and the torment of feeling unfaithful."

“In The Museum of Marriage, C.W. Smith uses the precision of a high-resolution microscope to capture with charm, wit, and love, the 1950s and relationships of couples at various stages, including three described by women." --Nan Cuba, author of When Horses Fly and Body and Bread

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About the Author

C.W. Smith

C.W. Smith is the author of ten novels, a collection of short stories, another of essays, and a memoir. Aside from a long career in teaching - he is the emeritus Dedman Family Distinguished Professor of English at SMU - he has worked as a musician, a newspaper reporter, a swamper on a pipe truck, a roustabout, a paper delivery boy, oil field hand, frame carpenter, and roofer. When he's not writing and reading, he likes to be on his bike accompanied by his wife, Marcia, and he volunteers with the Dallas Wilkinson Center food pantry and as a clerk and translator at the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.

Smith has twice received the Jesse H. Jones Novel Award from the Texas Institute of Letters; the Southwestern Library Association Award for Best Novel; the Dobie-Paisano Creative Writing Fellowship from the University of Texas; National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships in 1976 and 1990; the Texas Headliner's Feature Story award; the Frank O'Connor Memorial Short Story Award from Quartet magazine; the John H. McGinnis Short Story Award from Southwest Review; a Pushcart Prize Nomination from Southwest Review; Special Merit Award for Feature Writing from the Penney-Missouri Foundation; the Stanley Walker Award for Journalism from the Texas Institute of Letters, an SMU Research-Travel Grant, and an award for Best Nonfiction Book by a Texan in 1987 from the Southwestern Booksellers Association, and an award for Outstanding Book of the Southwest from the Border Regional Library Association. The Texas Institute of Letters named him a Lon Tinkle Fellow for "sustained excellence in a career," and gave him the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story of 2009.