John McNally
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Fiction | Other
After the Workshop

After the Workshop

"A swift, wicked, and very funny book about what writers do when they're not writing. They're gossiping, scheming, pining, teaching, going on book tours, and - in the case of McNally's blocked and shopworn hero, Jack - babysitting more famous writers on tour and trying to think of a reason to live. The pace is brisk, the prose is buoyant, the vision clear and sharp, and the outcome unexpectedly moving. A fine novel."

Kevin Canty, author of WHERE THE MONEY WENT

"McNally, an Iowa graduate and former media escort, clearly knows the world he admires yet takes down. His wacky literary archetypes, naked humor and sharp observations offer up an entertaining look at the writing life and the people who prop it up."

Publishers Weekly

Ghosts of Chicago

Ghosts of Chicago

"The ghosts of these stories aren't just consumed by loss, they're imprisoned by it - choosing, each time, to make their lives shrines to the past rather than taking a stab at the unknown future. In a lesser writer's hands, such stories would be predictable retreads. But McNally makes us see the real tragedy: in the absence of love, embracing grief can be the next best thing."


"These [stories] are more than just the travails of the dead - the nature of love, family bonds and loss all haunt these streets as well. McNally's wit always comes at you unexpectedly...but the subtle sadness of each story's texture, the ache of emptiness, makes the final impression. GHOSTS OF CHICAGO, a fine assemblage, reminds us of what we're missing."

New City (Chicago)

America's Report Card

America's Report Card

"It has been a long time since I've been so excited, provoked and haunted by a novel as I have been by America's Report Card. I want to run out and buy multiple copies--for my kids' teachers, my co-workers...even my stupid senator. I flat-out can't wait to talk about this book, which is a brilliant, laugh-out-loud satire of contemporary American life with a tender, angry heart and enormous compassion for the little guy. You've got to read it. John McNally is emerging as one of the best American writers of the new century."


"In America's Report Card, John McNally takes on domestic espionage, the American school system, and the mutative nature of love. Brilliantly written, McNally's unblinking novel is an earnest and hilarious portrayal of the American psyche at its worst and its best."

Erika Krouse, author of COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME

Book of Ralph

The Book of Ralph

"This book is charming, sensitive, and at times flat out hysterical. I knew kids like Ralph--and they scared me--but none of them had his heart, his humor, or ultimately his entertaining story. I hated to say goodbye at the end of the book."


"The Book of Ralph should earn John McNally the wider audience that his talent and wit deserve."

Chicago Tribune

"John McNally's vivid, skewed characters, his vibrant prose and hilarious situations make The Book of Ralph, with its undercurrent of menace, a serious joy."

Richard Russo, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of EMPIRE FALLS



- Winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, 2000.
- Winner of the Nebraska Book Award, 2001.
- Book Sense 76 paperback pick, Nov/Dec 2000.

"Troublemakers confirms McNally's status as a major and exciting new talent."

The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"John McNally has that rare gift of achieving both humor and poignancy, and his ability to evoke the personal past in all its delicious detail makes one think of an American Roddy Doyle."

T. C. Boyle, author of DROP CITY

"Troublemakers consists of 11 incredibly rendered stories of boys and men who have been marginalized. While the stories are connected by McNally's searing, darkly comic style of storytelling, each one develops a fresh set of characters and demonstrates a new dimension to the author's fierce prose and controlled craft."

San Francisco Bay Guardian