You're Not Supposed to Cry

You're Not Supposed to Cry

8.00 9.95

by Gary Duncan

Pages: 152
ISBN: 978-1-908251-80-0
Dimensions: 198 x 130 mm
Publication: 26 May 2017
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Family dinner somehow becomes more mundane after Uncle Colin does a fatal face plant into the plum pudding. A lonely old widower sits at home and participates in conversations he records whilst riding the bus. Curled up like a comma, a woman lies in bed and remembers the exclamation-mark man her partner once was.

These brief, vivid glimpses into the lives of others lay bare the ugliness and absurdity — but also the beauty — of existence. In his flash fictions Gary Duncan explores what it means to be human with insight, compassion and humour.

“Trigger warning! After you read one, Duncan has you hooked. Don’t read this collection in one sitting — parcel these stories out and take time in between to reflect on what just took place. These stories are headshaking original, funny, fascinating, at times chilling, and no subject is sacrosanct — all things a 5-star collection should be. Buy two copies — you won’t want to lend your only one out.” — Paul Beckman, author of Peek


“In his expertly crafted collection of flash, Gary Duncan offers us a 20-20 glimpse of post-modern society with its quirkiness and deviance. A must read that you can’t put down.” — Pulitzer nominee Niles Reddick, author of Drifting Too Far From the Shore

“Wide-ranging and wise, You’re Not Supposed to Cry is a wonderfully human and often humorous exploration of the timeless and the everyday. A thoughtful and engaging collection of flashes that is sure to become part of the flash fiction canon. It is very good.” — Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, Directors, The International Flash Fiction Association

“Gary Duncan’s stories will tickle you one moment and slap you in the face the next. They’ll bite, scratch, caress, and hold you. Whether Duncan’s stories leave you shocked or amused, you will remember them.” — Santino Prinzi, author of Dots: And Other Flashes of Perception

“Gary Duncan’s stories are sharply incisive slices of life, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes both.” — Paul D. Brazill, author of The Last Laugh and Guns of Brixton

“Gary Duncan’s flash fiction is vivid, sharp and memorable. I was immediately drawn into each of these stories and enjoyed the short rides immensely. They’re never predictable, often surprising, and the endings left me thinking — in a good way.” — Tom Hazuka, editor of Flash Fiction and You Have Time for This

“Gary Duncan, in his capacity as an editor, has proved more times than anybody should need to that he knows good flash fiction, and you should know he writes it too, with consummate skill and grace. This collection of gritty snapshots, of lives passing you by like the countryside through the window of a train carriage, is written with remarkable lucidity and compassion for lives and scenes that may otherwise have passed unremarked. One is reminded of the Joyce of Dubliners, waiting for an epiphanic truth to be revealed in a casual exchange of dialogue, the glow of sunlight on a brick wall, or in a gesture that might suddenly reveal the world. Duncan’s work encompasses the urban mundane and the liminal, and one has the sense that, at the edge of these stories, is some great revelation bursting to enter. Each story is its own universe, its own dream. Without a single wasted word, Duncan has created a powerful body of work. It’s Carver meets Lynch by way of Hemingway, and it’s quite wonderful.” — Gareth Spark, author of Snake Farm and Marwick’s Reckoning

“Gary Duncan knows flash fiction. Anyone who has visited Spelk is aware of this. Sit back, and allow a master to show you how it’s done.” — Paul Heatley, author of An Eye for an Eye

“Excellent, mordantly funny flash stories about fucked up lives that feature bad decisions, partial knowledge, strange fetishes (one for ankles here), and greed. ... Reading Duncan is like a series of jolts, electricity delivered through ordinary lives, people dealing with the bad and the ugly, not often the good.” — Alan Beard, author of Taking Doreen Out of the Sky and You Don’t Have to Say

"As the editor of top-notch UK flash site Spelk, Gary Duncan has probably read more short fiction in the last few years than most people encounter in a lifetime. He steps away from the editorial hot-seat to bring us a new collection of his own flash fiction, You’re Not Supposed to Cry, which blends the surreal, the macabre and the everyday to great effect. Cheeky, playful and thoroughly British, this well-judged collection is crammed with small but perfectly formed delights." — Tom Leins

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