Ways to Spend the Night: Stories by Pamela Painter


Pamela Painter is the author of three story collections,Wouldn’t You Like to Know, Getting to Know the Weather, which won the GLCA Award for First Fiction, and The Long and Short of It. She is also the co-author of What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, Ploughshares, and Quick Fiction, among others and in numerous anthologies, such as Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Forward, and MicroFiction. She has received grants from The Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, has won three Pushcart Prizes and Agni Review’s The John Cheever Award for Fiction. Painter’s stories have been presented on stage by Word Theatre, Stage Turner, and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. A recent prize-winning story was recorded on a Norton CD titled way“Love Hurts.” Painter lives in Boston and teaches in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College.



A widower finds his stolen car and begins a relationship with the thief. A woman whose sisters levy accusations against their dying father wonders why he chose them, not her. A divorcing couple celebrates a final beach weekend with their closest friends.

In these fifteen stories of love, loss, and recovery, Pamela Painter cements her status as a master of the contemporary short story.

“Pamela Painter is a writer of great emotional power, true wit, and immense compassion, a master storyteller who writes about real love and real loss. Ways To Spend The Night is a feast for readers—a brilliant examination of divorce, friendship, parenthood, and marriage. From the inspiring and tender opening story, ‘Reading in His Wake,’ onward we are presented with relationships that are as unforgettable as they are complex. Let us be thankful that we have Pamela Painter to tell us stories and to remind us that life is worth living.”
—Alice Hoffman, author of The Marriage of Opposites

“Pamela Painter’s stories are warm, wise, funny, and ultimately true to the way we live now—trying to carry on in the face of things breaking down around us. Reading each story is a thrill—for the full-blown lives, astute details, exact metaphors, and pitch-perfect dialogue. She’s like a carpenter—nailing it, again and again.”
—Bobbie Ann Mason, author of In Country and The Girl in the Blue Beret

“Pamela Painter is one of the best short story writers anywhere. What impresses me most is the elegance of her prose, along with the great versatility on display in these pages. She’s mastered every key, major and minor. She makes me hurt, makes me laugh, causes me to pause in wonder. My admiration for her is boundless. She’s a treasure.”
—Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Last Chances


Order now in the Engine Books Bookshop!

ISBN: 978-1-938126-35-2
Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Price: $15.95
Trade Paperback Original
184 pages
Distributed by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution
eBook ISBN: 978-1-938126-36-9