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by Mark Maynard

December 2012 | Short Fiction | 978-1-937226-03-9 | 170 pp | $15.95 

MARK MAYNARD grew up on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada, a small town that blessed him with enough quirky characters to populate a lifetime of stories.  Mark earned his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Antioch University Los Angeles. His short fiction has been selected as runner up in the Our Stories Gordon Fiction Contest and as honorable mention in the Torrey House Press Winter 2011 Fiction Contest. His work has also appeared in Shelf Life MagazineThe Duck and Herring Pocket Field Guide, the Tall Grass Wild Things Anthology, and the Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market 2010. Mark is the Fiction Editor for The Meadow literary journal. He lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and two sons, and can sometimes be found performing stand-up comedy at the ThirdStreet Bar in downtown Reno.

Author Website


Mark Maynard’s debut collection of linked short stories examines the characters of a town whose means and meanings are eroding away. In Grind, a homeless man wins the jackpot—and a large stack of pancakes (“Jackpot”); a prison inmate trains a horse toward life beyond the gates (“Penned”); a truck driver with the IQ of a child drives his empty rig up and down the interstate as an homage to his dead mother (“Deadheading”); a topless teen sunbathes on her roof as fighter planes careen overhead (“Sirens”); a grieving woman stores her breast milk behind the frozen peas (“Letdown”); and a pawnshop owner catalogues his wares by the natures of their violent pasts (“Trading Up”). In these stories, pleasure is cheap, heartbreak is a given, the past is dwindling away and the future is unsettlingly uncertain. 


"Throughout the volume’s eight tenuously linked tales, lives and fortune are lost, and the city of Reno emerges as a locus of shattered souls. Maynard’s debut collection bursts with idiosyncratic characters, . . . packs a strong emotional punch . . . is strangely entertaining."

“In Grind, Maynard reveals a world the Nevada tourism board would rather you didn’t see. . . . A debut collection of stories that perfectly captures the seediness, desperation and sense of loss permeating the hot desert world of Reno.”

“Mark Maynard’s Reno is so sleazily appealing, so filled with convict cowboys, wild horses, racing pilots, truckers, snow bums, eco-terrorists, tattoo conventions, pawnshops and jackpots that you emerge from reading Grind dazed by this author’s empathy for neglected quarters of humanity. 

You feel gritty all over—and more alive.”
author of Daughters of the Revolution

“Mark Maynard’s Grind is chock full of men and women who are desperate with want and full of spirit.  Pawnbrokers. Truckers. Casino shills. Prison inmates. They’re all here, and they’re all gloriously alive.  This is prime American fiction–-tough, generous, and open-eyed.”
author of Boleto


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Cover photo by Guy Tal

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