Future Missionaries of America

Future Missionaries of Americafrom the New York Times Book Review:
“Vollmer’s irresistible first collection offers a large cast of yearning characters: some lonely, some lost, some in love and some who, landing on the other side of life’s devastations–the loss of spouses, children, parents, lovers, friends, money–now find their grief restive and revolting. Emotions may be inexpressible in these stories, but they do find expression, if not through words then through actions. After his father dies, a teenage boy digs holes in the earth until his palms blister. A woman, about to pursue her unfaithful husband, dives underwater again and again for lost car keys. The distraught father of a slain little girl begins following another child he thinks might be her. Despite their realist surfaces and character-driven narratives, these stories have an uneasy relationship with the literary epiphany and can pull up just short of clarifying utterance. Often characters will work toward resolution only to discover that none is forthcoming; and yet, like boxers begging not to have the fight called, they go on. Vollmer writes with equal dexterity about teenagers and adults, men and women, atheists and believers, Goths and jocks, dropouts and doctors–less interested in getting down any particular demographic, it would seem, than in revealing the humans beneath. Expertly structured and utterly convincing, these stories represent the arrival of a strong new voice.”