Deer and Other Stories is a collection of literary fiction about the search for love, the disappearance of love, the mystery of love. Much of this collection takes place during the Vietnam War years. The deer that populate these 11 stories, whether real deer or imagined, made of skin and blood and bone, used as plastic lawn ornaments, even a wire stage prop, pad in and out of the characters' lives as mirror-images reflecting all the beauty, splendor and fear both species engender.
Deer and Other Stories
In each of these accomplished stories an enigmatic deer appears. And in each of these stories we are struck by the craft of Susan Tepper’s writing, her embrace of eccentricity, the beauty and the warts, and the seamless intermingling of the lightness and darkness of being. — Doug Holder / Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Susan Tepper… has written a collection of short stories as quirky as her life so far... and the deer in the title appears in the stories as a kind of leitmotif… suddenly darting into your path, to haunt the story…
— Saul Friedman, NEWSDAY
Susan Tepper notices more detail at breakfast than most of us do all day, and her stories brim with surprise thanks to her characters’ immersion in what it means to live. — Mark Wisniewski, Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman and All Weekend With The Lights On
The stories in DEER are terrific, many remind me of Hemingway's In Our Time: the woods, the war, the indirection... — Robert Viscusi, Astoria (American Book Award Winner)
To read the artful and nuanced stories of Susan Tepper is to move through a world of shadow and echo. Shadows cast during the seventies, time of the Viet Nam war and the Beatles, a time when both mind-altering drugs and higher visions of humanity were fighting for their place in the national conversation. And the echoes, oh yes the echoes. They rise from the silence that envelopes and punctuates the ambiguities and half-lies of the hollow late 20th century America envisioned by Tepper. A world powered it seems by unstated motivations, subtly textured relationships, the fear of death and somewhere, behind it all, a deeply seated yearning. For what, I can’t say. — Paul Steven Stone, Or So It Seems
Nothing is off-limits in Susan Tepper’s stories, yet not a single sentence feels gratuitous. Each of the tales that make up DEER exists as its own world, endowed with so potent a presence that one feels one has witnessed a truth unfold in the reading. Gladly our minds stretch wide to catch her fictions and weave them into our new reality.
— Eric Darton, Free City
In her debut story collection DEER, Susan Tepper takes us into the forest of her imagination, shining a light on a pack of off-kilter characters caught in unusual and compelling circumstances. Tepper is one of the most original voices in fiction I’ve heard in quite a while. Reading her loopy-beautiful dark narratives, I was reminded of the first time I read Denis Johnson. Yes, she’s that good. This is a writer to watch!
— Jamie Cat Callan,
The Writer’s Toolbox & French Women Don’t Sleep Alone
Susan Tepper creates brilliant, quirky, unpredictable worlds in her story collection DEER. Whether set in the Italian countryside, a post-modern house in the Hamptons, or backstage at a community theatre, they teeter between the familiar and the extreme, the peculiar and the poignant, and her characters, brimming as they are with eccentricities, never let us forget how deeply human they are at their core.
— Ellen Litman, The Last Chicken in America