David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories

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By: D. D. Miller

April 2014
246 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-84-4
$20.00

Filled with burning parade floats, bear attacks and roller derby leagues, D.D. Miller’s short stories present us with a comical collection of slacker heroes who get what they deserve in unexpected ways. These men are survivors who fail to see how fortunate they are, and who watch helplessly as their lives unravel, if only because they fail to act. Miller’s deft sentences and sharp characterization bring these stories to life, pulling his readers into the lives of these often self-centred underdogs, where the readers find themselves sympathizing with the characters while still laughing at the mishaps Miller has artfully scattered in his characters’ paths.

Excerpt

I have a problem with endings. It seems I can’t ever finish anything, not properly anyway. And I’m convinced that it all started with my name: Gregor Postma. All through my education – from elementary right through to my unfinished grad degree – there wasn’t a teacher who didn’t assume my name was Gregory Postman, shortened on their attendance sheet by some data-entry error. I go by Greg, which I know is even less complete, but the only people who had ever called me Gregor were my Dutch father and grandmother. My grandmother died long ago and I hadn’t seen my father in a decade, so sometimes, when I see “Gregor” printed on a bill, or when a telemarketer calls and asks for me by that name, even I’m taken aback by how incomplete it sounds.

Click here to read "Son of Son of Flying Pig" from David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide.

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Reviews

Review (Dan Keating, Eleven Eleven Journal, 01/02/2016) "All in all, D.D. Miller weaves stories about deeply flawed characters who, on a basic level, don’t know how to handle themselves or the people around them; ultimately Miller’s characters are alone in their heads with the greatest strangers of all – themselves."

Life is like a book of chocolates (Lisa de Nikolits, Mesdames of Mayhem, 10/06/2014)
"The originality and vibrancy of these stories had me dipping into a precious stash of Freddos, tiny chocolate frogs that accompanied me back from Sydney, Australia. Why Freddos? Because the stories in this book are as delightful as chocolate frogs; playful with crackling exploding embedded bits of pop rocks, inviting all manner of memories from childhood to mix in with the complexities of adulthood."

David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide (Mark Sampson, Quill & Quire, 01/06/2014)
“D.D. Miller's debut story collection will probably raise a few eyebrows with its shamelessly provocative title. And for the the most part, these tales live up to that promised audaciousness.... The subject matter is masculinity, complete with beer, pornography, and bad choices.”

Articles

"The Wrong Numbers" (D. D. Miller, Joyland, 02/05/2014)
Check out the Joyland website to read one of the stories from David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories.

Ready to Launch: Buckrider Books (Kris Bone, The Town Crier, 21/04/2014)
"Toronto-centric and often incorporating Miller’s love of roller derby (the titular story’s major scene happens at the rink, and a pair of roller skates graces the cover), it was a shame to hear only an excerpt rather than the full story. Funny and well-paced, it marks a welcome addition to Toronto’s wealth of short fiction collections."

Nerd to Release First Work of Fiction; Launch Dates Set for Toronto, Tri-City (D. D. Miller, Derby Nerd, 10/04/2014)
"This book has been a long time coming and features a wide variety of stories all dealing in some way with the vagaries of life in the early 21st century. Of course, roller derby played a part in the writing of the book—as it does in most aspects of my life—but it has a particularly large role in the title story.”

Spring preview 2014: short fiction, crime, poetry, and graphica (Steven W. Beattie, Quill & Quire, 16/01/2014)
“Poet Paul Vermeersch dons his publisher’s cap to launch the new Wolsak & Wynn imprint Buckrider Books, which has its inaugural season in 2014. One of the first titles is the new story collection from Toronto resident D.D. Miller. Provocatively titled David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide, the volume addresses a comical coterie of male protagonists, from slackers to sad sacks, all of whom get what’s coming to them.”

Interviews

12 or 20 (second series) questions with D.D. Miller (rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, 28/01/2015)
"It reminds me that this is, first and foremost, a craft. It’s not just thoughts and ideas (everyone has those); it’s the putting them to paper in good sentences and well-constructed stories that makes a writer."

D. D. Miller debuts with a darkly funny short story collection (LPG, LPG Staff's blog, 06/05/2014)
“The stories in David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories are darkly comic and always surprising. D.D. Miller’s protagonists are varied cast, but they are all stuck at a kind of crossroads in their lives.”

On Writing, With DD Miler, in Celebration of New Buckrider Imprint! (Grace O'Connell, Open Book Toronto, 09/04/0214)
“Roller derby plays a big role in the title story. However, thematically, that story is inline with the rest in its exploration of post-millennial gender relations, and how we interact with social media and the Internet. Both major themes throughout.
     "Although in many ways, my relationship with the sport of roller derby — and my interactions with the women and men who are involved in it — has certainly helped to shape my views of gender; it has strengthened my respect for the fluidity of gender roles and even the fluidity of gender itself.”

Videos

D.D. Miller reads from "My Summer with Seth" at Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair on November 15, 2014.

D. D. Miller reads from "Son of Son of Flying Pig" from David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories at the Toronto Buckrider Books luanch at the Gladstone on April 16, 2014.

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