NC Literary Hall of Fame



 Kaleidoscope: 20 Stories Celebrating Women's Magazine Fiction by Ellyn Bache

Banks Channel Books
$16.00, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1889199177
March, 2017
Fiction: Short Stories
Available from your local bookstore or

"Surprisingly good...Kaleidoscope will cure some readers of their stereotypes about women's magazines. The stories here seldom turn dark, but they almost never sink into mere formula...Not all come from women's magazines. Some were published in regional magazines; one, the brilliant "Pho," appeared in The Chicago Tribune....

"Kaleidoscope illustrates a modern paradox. This should be a golden age for the short story; people are 'too busy' to read and have too many distractions, so the short form should be ideal. These days, however, there are fewer and fewer outlets printing them. Bache's collection shows us why attention should still be paid."
—Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News

For most of the twentieth century, women by the millions looked to magazines like McCall's and Good Housekeeping not just for recipes and decorating tips but for the short stories that appeared each month. Then technology- and budget-challenged magazines stopped publishing fiction, leaving behind many fans who, to this day, reminisce with real fondness about that genre and how much they still miss it.

This was the germ of the idea for this collection of twenty stories by award-winning author Ellyn Bache, who began her career writing magazine stories and later turned to novels, among them Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon. The stories, originally published in magazines ranging from McCall's and Seventeen to the slick regional publication, Virginia Country, run the gamut from funny to poignant to suspenseful, with a remarkably contemporary feel.

Ellyn Bache is the award-winning author of ten novels, including The Art of Saying Goodbye, a SIBA Okra Pick and book of the year nominee, and Safe Passage, which was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon. She has also published dozens of both literary and commercial stories, some of which were collected in The Value of Kindness, which won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize.

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