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Booksigning: Whatever Happens Probably Will by John MacIlroy

December 4 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us for a special signing while you shop this weekend with John MacIlroy, author of Whatever Happens Probably Will.

“Fasten your seatbelt. You are about to be transported by a master storyteller . . .” – Jayne Adams, author of For All the Right Seasons

In this debut collection of short stories, John W. MacIlroy delights in teasing the moment when everything changes, when the reader suddenly and completely knows the heart of each character and the fullness of the human experience. That slip may be gentle, air-brushed with a sly and lighthearted wink in stories like “The Closer,” “Customer Service,” and “McAllister’s Asterisk.” Or it may creep in after a slow roll, then slash across the final pages in bold strokes in stories like the award-winning “Duke’s” and “Three Buses, Waiting.”

And in others, like “The Painting” and “The Man Inside,” things unseen – whispered in the shadows and along the margins – suddenly explode in surprising ways, burrowing deep into the reader’s soul. In the tradition of writers like Richard Ford, Christopher Tilghman and T.D. Johnston, these stories find in place an essential element of a good story. We find ourselves in a forgotten New England factory town; in a midwestern colonial along a street lined with tall oaks, middling ambitions and short mailboxes; and in a tired cemetery along the Mississippi where the hushed voices of the buried dance among the live oaks.

And in the way of the Southern writer, these, and the other full-bodied stories in the collection, embrace the harsh gravitational pull of the past. And where they land – well, as the writer Jayne Adams warns, “Buckle up. You’re in for a ride . . .”

“MacIlroy weaves these riches together with the skill of a born storyteller gifted with a poet’s eye.” – Douglas Campbell, winner of the Able Muse Write Prize

Following a career that spanned law, business, and teaching, John W. “Mac” MacIlroy began writing creatively in 2016. After publication of his first book – Not Exactly Rocket Scientists and Other Stories, a co-authored collection of zany and “mostly true” stories – he turned to writing short fiction.  His story “Duke’s” was named a “Best of 2019 Short Story,” and he won the 2021 Amy Munnell Award. That year he was also named a Finalist in both the Coker Fiction Fellowship and the Excellence in Southern Lowcountry Writing competition for his story “The Man Inside.” These and other award-winning stories are included in his newest book, Whatever Happens, Probably Will: Stories, which was named a Finalist in the 2022 International Books Awards in the category of Short Fiction.

A graduate of Yale College, Harvard, and the University of Virginia School of Law, he lives along a tidal creek in the LowCountry of South Carolina with his wife Linda and a painted ceramic dodo bird named duMont.


December 4
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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