David Means, TWO NURSES, SMOKING in conversation with Jenny Offill

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
Morton Memorial Library
82 Kelly Street
Rhinecliff, NY 12574

Presented in partnership with Morton Memorial Library.

FREE. RSVP Requested


David Means is a "master of the [short story] form" (The Observer). In his virtuosic new collection, time unfolds in unexpected ways: a single, quiet moment swells with the echoes of a widower’s complicated marriage; a dachshund, given a new name and a new life by a new owner, catches the scent of the troubled man who previously abandoned her; young lovers become old; estranged couples return to their vows; and those who have died live on in perpetuity in the memories of those whom they touched.

David MeansTwo Nurses Smoking by David MeansJenny Offill
The stories in this collection―winners of the O. Henry Prize and the Pushcart Prize, and selected for The Best American Short Stories in 2021―confirm the promise of a writer who extends “the profound empathy of his attention to those who need it most” (Justin Taylor, The New York Times Book Review). A revelatory meditation on trauma and catharsis, isolation and communion, Two Nurses, Smoking reflects the dislocations and anguish of our age, as well as the humanity and humor that buoy us.

David Means is the internationally acclaimed author of five short-story collections, including Instructions for a Funeral, The Spot (a New York Times notable book of the year), Assorted Fire Events (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction), and The Secret, and the novel Hystopia (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize). His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous other publications. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Means lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.

Jenny Offill is an acclaimed fiction writer and author of, Last Things, Dept. of Speculation (named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014) and, most recently, Weather: A Novel in 2020 and which was lauded by the Boston Globe as “tiny in size but immense in scope, radically disorienting yet reassuringly humane, strikingly eccentric and completely irresistible.” Her critical work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review and Slate. She is co-editor, with Elissa Schappell, of the anthologies Money Changes Everything and The Friend Who Got Away; author of a number of children’s books; and subject of a February 2020 feature in the New York Times Magazine, “How to Write Fiction when the Planet is Falling Apart.”