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In this uirky humorous and deeply human short story collection Pushcart Prize nominated author RL Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments we are never truly aloneIn We Love Anderson Cooper characters are treated as outsiders because of their sexual orientation racial or religious identity or simply because they look different A young man courts the publicity that comes from outing himself at his bar mitzvah When a painter is shunned because of his appearance he learns to ink tattoos that come to life A paranoid Jewish actuary suspects his cat of cheating on him—with his Protestant girlfriendIn this debut collection humor complements pathos Readers will recognize themselves in these stories and in these protagonists whose backgrounds are vastly different from their own—we’ve all been outsiders at some point


10 thoughts on “We Love Anderson Cooper Short Stories

  1. says:

    NO SPOILERS But I wish I could spill the beans I adored these stories 10 out of 11 stories were each memorable to me “Tattoo” is my ‘very’ favorite A struggling artist with a masters degree in Fine Arts walks into a tattoo shop to apply for a job He has no tattoos This story unfolds and unfoldsit’s powerful I wish a novel would develop The title story “We Love Anderson Cooper” is priceless Being assigned a section to read and interpret Leviticus for Bar Mitzvah preparations from the Torah is just bad luck Haha Every Jewish child would prefer Genesis over Leviticus Smart kid I said to myselfThe 13 year old may have pissed off the rabbi disappointed his mother betrayed his friend but he managed to weasel himself out of his ha religious educational speechHaonly to leave a bigger mark There are several ways we can look at RL Maizes’ stories humorous to “OMG NO WAY””THAT didn’t just happen”to Lucy Dogto holy crap to”butit’s so sad”With universal familiar threads loss jealousy negligence sadness anger guilt grief humor prejudice success failures illness death purpose love and relationships each of these stories are uniue and diverse Some stories are charming others are subdued others are eye opening others joltingAll have a tinge of sadness or a lot of sadness11 short stories were VERY ENTERTAINING one was only so so but all is forgivenRL Maizes’ heart is hugeSo happy to have discovered her


  2. says:

    It's too strange to review your own book So instead I'm going to uote what two authors I admire had to say about it Told with humor and wisdom these charming stories burst with possibility At any moment a character might risk all or the world might tilt on its axis Here is a wildly entertaining new voice one to revel in —Rebecca Makkai author of The Great BelieversI found myself dazzled moved and lost in admiration for these unforgettable stories each one a gem Where do I sign up for the RL Maizes school of brilliantly depicting off kilter love and loss with unfailing wit and empathy?―Elinor Lipman author of Good Riddance and On Turpentine Lane


  3. says:

    NOW AVAILABLE A collection of eleven short stories by RL Maizes another new author for meThe first of these short stories is the one the title of the book is based on “We Love Anderson Cooper” This story begins with young Markus who is reluctantly listening to his Rabbi’s recording of Leviticus 2013 ”If a man lies with a manboth have committed an abomination” ”In less than a month he was supposed to chant those words from memory” in the temple but laying on his bed with these words pouring into his brain through a single earbud all he can think of is having sex with Gavin and his plans of announcing that he’s gay during the bar mitzvah speech hoping the YouTube video will catch Ellen DeGeneres’ attention and bring him instant fame 4 stars“Collections” the second story is about a woman whose partner died after they’d lived together for fourteen years leaving her nothing 2 5 starsThe third story is “Tattoo” and follows an artist painter who gives up his painting and uses his art afterward to focus on tattoo art becoming and convinced of the life altering nature of his new art 4 starsFourth is “The Infidelity of Judah Maccabee” which was probably had the lightest feeling to it without really being light A love story between to actuaries Barry a male Jewish cat owner sharing his life with Mac the cat and Annette – a Christmas decorating loving woman who slowly comes to be Mac’s person 25 starsFifth “No Shortage of Birds” is a sad and disturbing story of a mother and teenage daughter coming to terms with life during the aftermath of the husband father’s death The mother brings home a parakeet a month after his death as a gift which the daughter doesn’t want and tells her to take it back 25 starsSixth – “L’Chaim” is perhaps the shortest and is a tenderly moving story of a woman whose wedding has just been cancelled looking over the venue 4 starsSeventh – “A Cat Called Grievous” A man and his wife after seven non child bearing years find a cat ”curled up inside a fleece lined boot” on their porch The wife chooses to use the unused nursery as a room for the cat 4 starsEighth – “Better Homes and Gardens” A man loses his suffocating and boring job with excellent pay during the economic crisis and takes a job delivering pizza much to the chagrin of his wife and his two entitled teen daughters 3 starsNinth – “Couch” Penelope is a therapist whose office couch had once belonged to her grandmother and it was free so it began as her office couch out of economic sense “ Without uite realizing it Penelope had come to believe the couch was responsible for her success” 4 starsTenth – “Yiddish Lessons” concerns a young teen girl trying to come to terms with the things she is prevented from pursuing since she is a girl 4 starsEleventh – “Ghost Dogs” this is a sad story – most of these stories have some ‘tinge’ of sadness to them but this was sadness upon sadness upon sadness ”Thwap Thwap” 4 starsAs with any collection of short stories I enjoyed some than others and I’m sure that other readers might enjoy some than I did and others will enjoy some less I found all of these interesting and worth reading and I found the author’s style and viewpoint were creative and refreshingly uniue Pub Date 23 Jul 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Celadon Books


  4. says:

    This short story collection was an unexpected treat Not really a short story reader I was taken by surprise at how engaging the stories were and how engrossed in them I became in such a short time Book available for preorder and will be published in JulyFollow Book Nation by Jen for all reviews and recommendationsFeel Like an Outsider? You Are Not Alone RL Maizes’ characters try to overcome challenges in We Love Anderson CooperReview and A With RL MaizesI haven’t read a lot of short stories and when the publisher asked me to take a look at We Love Anderson Cooper I was happy to do sothe title made me smile and when the book arrived I was increasingly motivated by the great looking coverA teenage boy coming out publicly at his Bar Mitzvah a cat playing favorites during the ChristmasHanukah holiday season the relief of a called off wedding and the power of a couchso wonderful getting to know the varied characters and becoming absorbed in their emotional journeys in such a short timeI really loved all the stories and was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with author RL Maizes about this new short story collection her writing process and A with RL Maizes From a reader’s point of view each of your stories in this wonderful collection stand on its own and is unrelated with different characters and situations Every main character seems to have a problem or obstacle they face and tackle during the short time we are with them and I became invested in each and every one Are any of these short stories in We Love Anderson Cooper linked or connected to each other in any way?Thanks so much for the kind words about the collection What connects the stories in We Love Anderson Cooper is that the main characters are outsiders For example in the story “Tattoo” a tattoo artist is shunned because of his unusual appearance In “Collections” a woman is excluded from her wealthy partner’s upper crust world because of her race and class In “No Shortage of Birds” a young girl becomes alienated from her mother and her friends when her father dies Being outsiders creates challenges for these characters that they try to overcome in the stories Did you write each story with the others in mind? Are there other stories that didn’t make the cut? Did you always plan on putting these together in a collection?I wrote the stories over a ten year period The pain we all feel at being excluded and our tremendous desire to belong was one of my preoccupations but I wasn’t thinking of writing a collection during that entire time Many stories I wrote didn’t make the cut How long did writing each story take? Have any of them been published on their own prior to this book?With the exception of one very short one I spent than a year writing and revising each of them Some took many years A number of the stories were published in magazines before being included in the book One aired on National Public Radio Another was dramatized in a production of Stories on Stage From a writing standpoint how do you gage timing know how much to reveal in such a short time and do you have to do any work developing the characters or the story arc before the story is written or does it just all come together as you write?I’m what’s known as a pantser which means I develop the stories as I write them “fly by the seat of my pants” rather than plotting them out beforehand The stories end up needing revision this way but it’s the only way I know how to write Figuring out when to reveal information is one of the great challenges of fiction writing and each story has its own needs in that regard In “Ghost Dogs” for example the last story in the collection I intentionally hold back important information until the middle of the story While in another story I reveal the end of the story first allowing the suspense to arise from how the ending comes about What is the editing process like for a short story – do you generally write too much and have to cut or too little and have to expand?Both I have to write too much to discover what the story is really about Once I know I cut to the heart of the story The challenge of the form is compression At the same time when I want to go deeper into a character or to slow down a scene for dramatic purposes I expand parts of the story Would you ever consider expanding any of these stories into a book?I’m writing a novel now called “Other People’s Pets” The main character is an animal empath who drops out of veterinary school to become a burglar Her father’s been arrested and she’s desperate to earn enough to pay his attorney’s fees It has some similarities with the collection The main character is an outsider and the book features animals But it’s not an expansion of any of the stories I don’t plan to expand any of the stories in the collection because each one feels complete to me as it is How do you get your ideas for your writing?Stories are everywhere A news report might trigger an idea for a story Something that happened to an acuaintance might be the genesis of a story I might observe something odd in my neighborhood But the finished stories are always greatly changed from what initially sparked them Are you going on book tour?It’s a little too soon to know I’ll be reading at bookstores in Colorado where I live But I’m not sure where else I’ll tour What are three books you recently read and would recommend? I loved Rebecca Makkai’s recent novel The Great Believers and her story collection Music for Wartime Mad Boy by Nick Arvin is a wonderful book funny and tender It’s currently a finalist for a Colorado Book Award I’m a big fan of Steve Yarbrough’s novels because of the compassion he has for his characters The Unmade World which came out this past year was fantastic I thought Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend was great Naturally because of the dog But also because the structure of that book was marvelous I guess that’s than three What is on your nightstand to read next? I’m looking forward to reading Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise and was lucky enough to pick up an advance reading copy at a conference I recently attended I’m also about to begin Kali Fajardo Anstine’s debut story collection Sabrina Corina Thank you to RL Maizes for answering some uestions If you feel like an outsider you are not alone Easy to read engaging and thought provoking every step of the way I highly recommend pre ordering a copy of We Love Anderson Cooper today – book will be available in July


  5. says:

    Maizes writes in a relatable entertaining way about familiar people dealing with love and loss yet makes it feel fresh I look forward to reading of her


  6. says:

    35 starsI'm a big fan of short stories but it doesn't seem like there have been many collections this year that have caught my eye I'll need to remedy that because every time I read a collection of stories I'm reminded of how much I like this format and how incredibly writers can create compelling scenarios in just a small number of pagesI was drawn to RL Maizes' debut collection We Love Anderson Cooper because of the title first and foremost I do love him honestly But I stayed for the stories While not all of the 11 stories clicked for me—and one was so short that it seemed like I was missing something—I was so impressed by Maizes' writing her imagery and her creativityMy favorites in the collection included Tattoo about a talented yet struggling artist who turns to tattooing and begins to create designs which become reality; Couch which tells of a therapist whose practice—and life—are upended by the purchase of a new couch for her office; The Infidelity of Judah Macabee where a man feels betrayed by his cat; Collections about an older woman left behind when her companion whom she cared for left her with nothing even though she thought of him as her husband; and the title story which tells of a young man planning to out himself at his bar mitzvah but isn't sure of the conseuencesSome of the characters in these stories are memorable some of them are very twisted and even cruel There are a few stories which might trigger those uncomfortable with animal cruelty descriptions of animals dying accidentally and on purpose murder and blood It's funny I didn't realize how crazy some of the stories were until I started writing this listThe stories I loved in this collection will definitely linger on in my mind There's no doubt that Maizes is a talented writer with a very bright future and I look forward to seeing what comes next for her For those of you who enjoy short stories you might want to check this collection outSee all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoriablogspotcomCheck out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at


  7. says:

    You just gotta love a short story collection titled We Love Anderson CooperAnderson Cooper is of course the ultimate insider’s outsider – proudly gay and successful without making traditionalists the slightest bit uncomfortable And that’s the thing about RL Maizes’ characters they’re all outsiders and many are even uirky But they are also recognizably us – even if often they are an exaggerated portrait of who we areEach short story collection has its subjective favorites and so here are some of mine the story Tattoo introduces a fine painter face covered with large black moles who becomes a sought after tattoo artist because his inkings turn into living flesh In A Cat Called Grievous it helps to love animals to enjoy RL Maizes’ stories an infertile couple take in a stray cat whose litter has died and then watch the daughter they eventually have adopt some of her behavior In Shortage of Birds a grieving young teen whose dad has just died feels jealousy toward a parakeet who usurps her mom’s loveThere is a Jewish actuary who feels cheated that his cat seems to prefer his new Protestant wife A teenage boy whose reading of Leviticus prompts him to come out of the closet during his Bar Mitzvah And – 11 stories in all With a touch of humor and than a touch of compassion this debut author writes engaging stories that reveal that all of us – no matter what background we are or emotional state we’re in – just wants understanding and love


  8. says:

    A young girl’s father dies and her mother gives her a parakeet to cheer her up but that only worsens her feelings of loss A young boy decides to use his bar mitzvah as the time to come out about being gay A struggling artist turns to doing tattoos which are real than usual A Jewish man struggles with his jealousy of his cat’s affections for his Christian girlfriend and her desire to celebrate Christmas A cat named Grievous makes a profound impact on her family A therapist finds a couch for her office that does a better job than she does Petal and Tanner are two dogs that are sorely missed by their ownerI couldn’t have been impressed with these wonderful uniue short stories Many of the stories have pets as a focal point The author uses these conflicts caused by pets as a fascinating way of exploring grief loss and jealousy Another theme the author uses in these stories is that of being an outsider Some of these stories are humorous some are tragic and some are pure magic The last line of the last story “Ghost Dogs” uite literally tore my heart in two I just sat there stunned This isn’t a book I reuested but it found its way to me anyway and I’m so glad it appeared one day Thank you Celadon Books for sending me this lovely book I will treasure it alwaysMost highly recommendedThis book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review


  9. says:

    What a strong involving collection this is And not a clinker in the bunch Although I've checked my culture Jewish and magic realism boxes not all stories fall into those categories but enough do to warrant notice The author's ability to create characters at a crossroads and have their situation play out in ways that are truly original kept me reaching for one just one until the book was done I usually like to stretch collections of short stories out but each story was so different from its predecessor I just kept going Maizes also has a true knack for portraying the affinity between animals and their humans exhibiting a deep understanding of the heart


  10. says:

    I received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review45 starsShort stories and I don’t always get along They’ve typically been a hit or miss with me in the past I’m pleased to say these stories were a hit Some were humorous some sad and some I found myself cheering the protagonist on There were some dislikable characters but they made the stories what they are This is RL Maizes debut collection and I look forward to anything else she writes in the future You may recognize yourself in some of these stories and others may be totally different than anything you’ve experienced I definitely recommend this collectionThis book will be released 72319