Front inside cover
Collectors, by critically acclaimed author Paul Griner, is an exquisitely menacing story of one woman's dangerous fascination with a seductive, mysterious man. At her cousin's wedding, Jean Duprez, an advertising-agency art director who specializes in effective but unsettling concepts for her clients, meets a handsome stranger named Steven Cain. What follows is the story of a relationship so ominous and puzzling that the reader is drawn into the author's designs as inevitably, and as helplessly, as Jean is drawn to Steven. She seeks him out although he often seems indifferent to her, she disregards his disturbing personal history, and she tells him about her own transgressions. And so it becomes intriguingly hard to say whether she is a possible victim of evil or has deliberately put herself in harm's way. The story also dramatizes the intricacies of collecting, particularly the wary bargaining between seller and buyer. In Paul Griner's hands, this dance of the flea-market negotiation comes to seem nearly as sinister as the increasingly dark encounters between Jean and Steven. One is a matter of guile and folly, the other of life and death.
Back inside cover
Paul Griner's first book was the collection Follow Me. His award-winning stories have appeared in many publications, including Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, and Playboy. His lives with his family in Kentucky, where he is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville.
Praise for Follow Me
"Paul Griner's Follow Me is one of the most vivid, distinctive collections I've read in years. His range of subject and technique is extraordinary: patient, complex explorations of family life, flinty fabliaux noirs, stories about doctors and artists and outlaws, all told with conviction and velocity and a sure sense of the form. Mr. Griner's book is a present joy, and a bright promise."
"Paul Griner is a new American writer of great promise. The stories in Follow Me are pitched at a high level, skillfully executed and driven through with maximum velocity. Griner's characters are wonderful, and they continue to resonate in the reader's mind long after the collection has been read."