Woman, Running Late, In A Dress
Woman, Running Late, in a Dress is a collection of linked stories about the complexities and nuances of love, grief, and identity, featuring an interrelated web of characters and storylines.
An ordinary day for one character is a life-shattering day for another; a small, impulsive decision made by one character affects another’s life profoundly. A central theme explored in this collection is memory: the way it is nurtured, pushed away, and falsified, along with the tenuous gap between memory and real life.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Awards & Honors
Winner, Cypress & Pine Short Fiction Award
Honorable Mention, Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize
Category Finalist, The Eric Hoffer Award
Honorable Mention, 2018 Royal Dragonfly Book Award
Finalist, 2019 Indie Star Book Award
Finalist, Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
Finalist, Augury Books Prose Award
The thirteen short stories comprising Woman, Running Late, in a Dress effectively showcase Dallas Woodburn’s genuine flair for originality, deftly created characters, and narrative-driven storytelling skills. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, Woman, Running Late, in a Dress is unreservedly recommended.”
Woodburn’s stories speak to the complexity in humanity and relationships, while her tightly-woven prose and flourishing visual details bring her characters and situations to life. This is a must-read for those seeking patient, impactful fiction that provides an excellent example of the intermingling of close characterization and tension brought about by change.”
Woodburn’s thirteen interconnected stories chart seismic emotional upheaval that grinds ominously from below and explodes onto the surface of people who might live down your street, or in your apartment building, or be you yourself. With a breathless pace, readers looking to be known on the page in their own trauma will see a reflection haunting and yet empathetic.”
The book closes with its title story, which feels something like a thesis for the collection, as a woman fixates on a meddlesome riddle to—whether intentionally or not—distract from her struggling marriage and the ultimate death of her husband. The cutaways to trying to figure out the riddle at hand masterfully splice between collage-style fragments and the ultimate reveal that the narrator should have been looking inward, rather than out, for the answer to the riddle; it’s a near-perfect bow on not only this particular piece, but a deeply felt, introspective mass of stories.”
Dallas Woodburn’s collection of interwoven stories shows real maturity about the complexities of relationships of all kinds, and she doesn’t shirk from the painful experiences of her characters. Even so, the writing is so lively and the scenes so engaging that the reader gets to move fluidly between heft and lightness. A terrific debut!”
Full of tragedy and grace in equal measure. Deeply moving.”
Dallas Woodburn writes with rare insight and compassion about the aching glory of being young.”
Dallas Woodburn’s Woman, Running Late, in a Dress is striking for its formal range and its fresh take on the old subjects — love, death, and the death of love, yearning and loss in all their varieties. There’s nothing predictable here. No neat epiphanies or easy-to-diagram plots. These stories blaze their own trails. The characters are core optimists dealing, for the first time or all over again, with the tragedy of the world. Your heart will go out to them, and to this extraordinary debut collection.
Book Club Guide
I love to visit book clubs — both in-person and virtually over Zoom! It's so much fun to answer questions and hear readers’ thoughts and insights. Download the free Book Club Guides for bonus material about each of my books, recipes, discussion questions, and more!