Until We Have Faces

In a style reminiscent of John Cheever and Alice Munro, Michael Nye’s second collection of stories, Until We Have Faces, contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of modern life, the uncertainty of knowledge and truth, the gulfs between people and the technology we use, the frailty of our economic lives, while underlining throughout the persistency of love. His consummate skill, penetrating wit, and unfailing emotional generosity are on full display in this fine new collection.

This new collection will be out on July 7th, 2020. Order it NOW through Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Turner Publishing. or any other independent bookstores.




“The stories are about characters who wish for little more than to be seen, and in the most tragic of cases, they can’t even tell they already are. They’re caught in the middle — of a pandemic, of a recession, a domestic uprising, a country. And though plenty can call a Midwestern city their hometown, “Until We Have Faces” is the tender, aching work of one who calls it home.”
Bobby Finger, The New York Times

“The stories in Michael Nye’s Until We Have Faces are heartbreaking testimonies to the lonely, disconnected lives of men and women who once knew authentic friendship, meaningful work and athletic victory, whose fragile dreams are dissolved by degrading work and manipulated images, addiction and imbalances of power. While Nye’s fearless vision of contemporary life is painfully detailed and unsparing, the hope of love burns at the center of this remarkable collection, and within each of its characters, an inextinguishable spark of redemptive memory.”
Melissa Pritchard, author of Palmerino and A Solemn Pleasure

“Michael Nye’s new story collection is inhabited by characters who are breaking up or breaking down, and, inevitably, breaking away from what had once been and surrendering to a new and often disillusioning normal. Whether it be a former NFL player settling into a life of concussion-induced disability or a soldier-turned-chicken-turned-dog-farmer who must confront his own sense of justice, or a young woman revisiting her fifteen minutes of fame and seeing it in a new and less flattering light, Nye’s stories provoke a familiar sense of dismay. Yet, just when it seems nothing good can be salvaged from the mess these souls have made, there is a moment of illumination and hope. Until We Have Faces is fiction for the here and now, for these days when the known has become the unknown and we all seek a new and better path forward.”
Angela Mitchell, author of Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories

“I cannot remember the last time I read a collection wherein each story is so perfect—story lines, rising action, characterization, flow. Until We Have Faces harkens back to the perfect John Cheever stories, or those of Richard Yates. Yet these aren’t “old-fashioned” stories. Backdrops of twenty-first century complexities fuel these gems.”
George Singleton, author of You Want More: Selected Stories

“The characters in Michael Nye’s brilliant collection all fight against a central question: what is so tragic about being unremarkable? Their dashed desires become their fuel, their desperation becomes their hope. Home, identity, race, love, loss—these themes reverberate in stories full of yearning, on paths toward selfhood marked by fragmentation. To step into the lives portrayed in Until We Have Faces is to feel, as one character notes, released from a cage after a long incarceration. We believe in their resilience because it is our resilience.”
Carolyn Ferrell, author of Don’t Erase Me: Stories

“There is a grace and an ease to Nye’s latest collection. He interrogates everything from American sports culture to heartbreak to Midwestern sensibilities, always with earnestness and generosity. Like all masters of the form, Nye manages a remarkable sleight-of-hand: each story feels at once unique but also recognizable, like a dear friend you’ve lost touch with. These are stories with big hearts, and though they offer tremendous wisdom, it is often camouflaged with modesty, which is both refreshing and admirable. Readers who are weary of ironic and pessimistic fiction have been waiting for this collection.”
Brad Felver, author of Dogs of Detroit

“Nye’s stories wiggle into your heart in unexpected ways, and stay nestled there for a long time. The prose is beautiful, the author is versatile, the execution is concise—but the highest compliment, the one readers will care about the most, is that these are memorable stories worthy of your time, rich enough to reward second or third readings. The spine of his collection is destined to be creased up and worn out, having staked out a lifetime spot on your bookshelf.”
Fred Venturini, author of The Escape of Light and The Heart Does Not Grow Back

Until We Have Faces startles and sustains with its varied settings, its portraits of former athletes and soldiers, of regular people trying to rebuild their lives or simply find their way home. I love this collection. Michael Nye delivers each story with the grace and aplomb of one well versed in the dark wonders of the human heart.”
Rachel Swearingen, author of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories