Joseph O'Malley

“Joseph O’Malley writes about ordinary people with such care and a clear eye for the truth.The stories in Great Escapes from Detroit are luminous with what lesser writers miss — the magic and the splendor of the commonplace come alive.”

Lee Martin

author of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist                    

The Bright Forever

"The stories collected here are a gift to the reader—

absorbing, affecting, full of complicated and closely observed characters. With his keen ear and unerring eye for detail, Joseph O’Malley makes us see, hear, and hope for his characters as if they were our own neighbors and parents and childhood friends. Great Escapes from Detroit is not only a vivid portrait of a city in flux, but a powerful and loving testament to its people, both those who stay and those who leave."

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

author of Ms. Hempel Chronicles, Madeleine is Sleeping

“These powerful stories strike just the right balance of tenderness and raw humanity, between shocking and soothing. With his keen eye for the details that make humans human, O’Malley engages the reader as powerfully with his perpetrators as with his victims, with as much tenderness for adults as for children. These stories are funny without making fun and addictively readable without pulling punches. I read each one with my heart in my throat.”

Susanna Daniel

author of Sea Creatures, Stiltsville


Cornerstone Press

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© 2019 Cornerstone Press

Photo by Michael McNeil

I keep hearing the short story is dead, but no one told Joseph O’Malley. The work in this collection documents high stakes emotional moments while being surprisingly restrained. Great Escapes from Detroit is a marvel.

Daniel Libman

author of Married but Looking

Joe O’Malley is an exquisite noticer. He finds beauty everywhere—in his struggling characters, his broken city of Detroit, and most of all in ordinary, everyday detail. His writing teaches us to see.

–Molly McNett

author of One Dog Happy

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