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Collateral Damage: 48 Stories

From a wedding night’s eerie revelations to a grandfather’s secret to a reckoning on a French beach and in a therapy session, Nancy Ludmerer’s characters move from loss to repair in unexpected ways. The youngest narrator is entering middle school, the oldest is a Holocaust survivor, and the oddest is a wineglass – or perhaps it’s that big tuna fish. The stories in Collateral Damage: 48 Stories, including many prizewinners, have appeared in such journals as Electric Literature, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Mid-American Review, Green Mountains Review, Jellyfish Review, Orca Lit, Flash Frontier, and Gemini, and in anthologies in Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK, and Argentina. They have been translated into Spanish, read aloud on public radio, and selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 and 2022. The book is in two sections: Part I“Collateral Damage” and Part II “In the Repair Shop.” Over forty flash fictions and several longer stories await your reading pleasure.

A few selections from Collateral Damage: 48 Stories

So Gentle You Don't Feel It


Breakfast with Henry

There I Will Take Your Hand

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Available October 10, 2022

Beginning October 10, 2022, the book can be purchased directly from the author via  the Buy Now link on this page or from Snake Nation Press, the publisher, at (at the site, use the "literature" or "new releases" link).  In either case, the purchase price is $20.  If purchased from Nancy, the book will be signed and she will make a donation of 10% for each book purchased to a NY-based organization, Books for Kids, which provides books  to children in shelters and to under-served preschools and school libraries. If purchased from Snake Nation Press, you will be supporting a woman-owned press that was founded over 30 years ago in Valdosta, Georgia, with strong ties to the community there.  


Collateral Damage:48 Stories is also available on Amazon. Order the book on Amazon at the link below and get a signed copy.

Praise for Collateral Damage:  48 Stories

Collateral Damage: 48 Stories has also been reviewed in Hadassah Magazine (the print issue) along with another new short story collection by Ronna Wineberg. Reviewer Elizabeth Edelglass praises both collections and in particular admires the variety in Nancy's book.

Collateral Damage: 48 Stories is a page turner, not that these trim, witty, unpredictable stories shouldn't be savored. Nancy Ludmerer's keen sense of how, in short form, to craft endings that pay off is one of the triumphs of this book.  And, while flash fiction is a form that can make magic from one note stories, her work is at once brief and complex."   

          Stuart Dybek, author of Paper Lantern: Love Stories


At times hilarious, at other times heartbreaking, Nancy Ludmerer’s masterful Collateral Damage is essential reading for fans of emotionally resonant fiction. Here you’ll find forty-eight tales of redemption, loss, yearning and regret, of the sacrifices big and small we make to remain connected. Ludmerer writes with deep understanding of the nuanced frailties of human relations.   

         Alice Kaltman, author of Dawg Towne


The characters in Nancy Ludmerer’s shimmering stories — young and old, fly and fish — will stay with you because they have so much heart.  They act with grace and conviction, with longing and despair, and sometimes even with malice, but always, always, we’re on their side. 

         Pamela Painter, author of Fabrications: New and Selected Stories


Collateral Damage features characters full of longing: to be loved, to be desired, to be noticed, and to be remembered. In just a page or two, Nancy Ludmerer shines a spotlight on pivotal moments of understanding and epiphany. These are stories about characters failing in their responsibilities to others, secrets kept, and moments when relationships dissolve. Yet these stories are also about characters hoping for something better in their lives and brief moments of joy and connection. Ludmerer accomplishes so much in these small, crystalline stories.  

        Karin Lin-Greenberg, author of Vanished


What goes on when the doors are closed and the shades drawn? In Nancy Ludmerer’s world it’s not happiness and board games. It’s mean-spirited or hapless husbands, angry wives, and troubled families – all written as only Ludmerer can write them in Collateral Damage: 48 Stories. In “Hal’s Sleep Showroom” a couple’s efforts to find the perfect mattress reveal deeper yearnings. In “Security Device” a young widow purchases a blow-up doll to deter carjackers, but it becomes – well, read it and see. “In Memory of Maisie” turns a funeral into a fiasco. But don’t take my word for it. Buy the book plus one for a friend because you won’t want to lend this out. 

         Paul Beckman, author of Kiss Kiss


Hadassah Magazine review:

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