NC Literary Hall of Fame














Tattoos: A Short Fiction Anthology edited by Alice Osborn

Main Street Rag
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-380-1
November, 2012
Fiction Anthology
Available at your local bookstore,, or through the publisher
An advance discount price of $8.50 will be available until November 13, 2012

Hang out at any airport, pool or gym these days and you'll find more people wearing tattoos than not. When did tattoos become mainstream so that by not having ink you're an oddity? Perhaps because of the turbulent economic and political landscape we live in, people want to have some control in their lives-tattoos provide that control. Throughout history tattoos let others know the wearer's totem, family, skill set or class. Not just for sailors or misfits, people of all ages now get tattoos because they want to heal after abuse, they reach a personal milestone or they survive a health scare. Or they just want one.

Like the characters in this story collection who are searching for themselves while committed to the ink, the tattooed can express their individualism, their pain and their memories on their skin.

I've always been fascinated with tattoos but not because I have one. There's something in a tattoo that tells the world to fuck off. I admire that. A tattoo is pure communication in the outlines of barbed wire, dragon or butterfly. Of course a character who sports a tattoo has a story. Who hurt her? What did he lose? Why did she choose that tattoo? What does he want to find? What's her secret?

In this anthology, sometimes the tattoo is central to the plot, and other times merely tangential to these characters. You'll meet men and women haunted by war, by family and by themselves. They want to belong and to believe in something. And they are as different as the designs on their arms, legs and backs.

Enjoy these stories told by 15 talented authors from across the country. See yourself in their characters and in their ink. In some way, we are all misfits according to someone.

Contributors include North Carolina Writers' Network members L.C. Fiore, Janie McKinley, Gary V. Powell, Kathryn Shaver, and editor Alice Osborn.

Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of three books of poetry, Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010), Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006) and most recently After the Steaming Stops (Main Street Rag, 2012); she is a freelance writer, blogger and teaching artist. A former high school English teacher, Alice teaches creative writing in schools and organizations where she uses sensory images and road-tested prompts to stimulate her students' best work. Her writing has appeared in Raleigh's News and Observer, Soundings Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website:

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