New in 2016 – That Reminds Me
That Reminds Me . . . stories, poems, essays, and one-scene plays that illuminate small town life in northern Minnesota. Set in the distinctive but universal backdrop of Nimrod, MN (population 69), the stories draw on the fascinating and inspiring lives of time-tested men and women and their cherished homesteads.
Part I, Reflections, is creative memoir. Storylines, secondary characters, and locales are embellished to make it a better read. Stories like the birth of a child, a Boundary Waters canoe trip, the Amtrak to Montana.
Part II, Refractions, is pure fiction. The storyline however probably germinated, and the protagonists probably live, within ten miles of the town’s boundaries. Stories like a homecoming to the family farm, a Match.com romance, a Julia Roberts fantasy.
Paperback: 222 pages
Published by the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc 2016
“I started your book on Sunday and finished it on Monday . . . and that’s saying a lot with three little ones in the house. It was such an enjoyable read. I would like a full length novel on each of the characters. It was fun how things tied together in the final chapter.” – Betsy, New York Mills, MN
“It was very informative. Looking at the book cover may give the perception that the book is full of comical stories about life as an elder. And 12 of these rowdy elders cheerfully spend their twilight years at Good Shepherd…WRONG!!!! I’m enjoying the stories very much even though they’re not all happy endings.” – Kathy, Chanhassen, MN
“Jerry Mevissen’s Good Shepherd stories bring to life a small community in all its complexity. There’s affection and connection, alienation and pain. Vivid characters, a strong sense of place and a sharp ear for the lies and truths people tell each other, and themselves.” – Flo, MN
“I had just finished Alice Munro’s splendid new collection and was wishing for more, when I picked up Good Shepherd. What a joy! Munro’s special talents seem to infuse these beautifully linked stories; the fall-out of crucial moments in the lives of people in a small, rural community. You write of both men and women, young and old, with totally convincing insight. Again, I wanted more and hope you are working on your next book — maybe a novel with Alice, the goat lady and Max, the black lab.” – Joanne, Minneapolis, MN
Good Shepherd – 2014
Welcome to Good Shepherd, an assisted living facility in any Minnesota small town. Good Shepherd has twelve living units and twelve residents; the book has twelve stories. As Pearl, the chatty newsmonger of the Center, says, “We came here to spend the end of our lives. And suddenly, it’s the beginning.”
You’ll meet Hazel, acid-tongued critic, until her soft side is revealed by an eleven year-old girl; Elaine, who lives in her husband’s shadow until she eclipses him in literary fame; Adam, prisoner of his wife’s demeanor until she dies, leaving him convoluted, confused, and unprepared to cope; angry veteran Wayne, testy Stella, Princess Grace, all who appear in hallways in each other’s stories and celebrate together in the finale “Sweet Spot.” Lumberjack Arnold says “We’re all suckers for a happy ending.” Is there such a thing? Read it.
Available through Amazon or Paypal for $15
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Jerry Mevissen has done it again. With delicious and telling detail, he has captured the intimacy of small town life — its triumphs, hates and, yes, its sex life. For what is a small town without a sex life?” – Faith Sullivan, author of The Cape Ann and Gardenias
“Jerry Mevissen’s accomplished prose treats aging — and the human condition itself — with dignity, humor and forthrightness we all look for, both in the stories we read and the lives we live. These stories are a generous gift to the world, shaped by a fine craftsman.” – John Reimringer, author of Vestments
“Jerry Mevissen is a good shepherd to his characters, leading them through their compelling stories with big-hearted compassion and humor.” – Lorna Landvik, author of Patty Jane’s House of Curl and Mayor of the Universe
“Here is a short story writer who shows us the full circle of life. We meet characters, young and old, happy and sad, engaged and reclusive, all connected to the Good Shepherd Assisted Living Center. The twelve interweaving stories picture a microcosm of any world we all live in, full of problems and joys. We end with a wedding of two residents. “If we’re lucky … life goes on. And on. And on. “And we feel lucky to have read Good Shepherd.” – Marge Barrett, author of My Memoir Dress and Loft Literary Center teacher
“This is writing shorn of anything unnecessary, Hemingway-esque in that sense, but without that writer’s world-weariness. We get an immediate sense of something going on, and the rhythms of Mevissen’s simple prose make us feel like we already can relate to this character.” – Sebeka Menahga Review Messenger
“Character and setting are the two most significant aspects of Mevissen’s stories, and the detail he includes gives the reader a sense of place, as well as a certain sense of the emotional atmosphere.” – Northwoods Press
Paperback: 353 pages
Published by North Star Press 2005
Nimrod is a town that has seen its heyday. But sparks of energy exist, making it home to creative, grounded, gritty and trusted neighbors.
This book has 353 pages and is illustrated with full-page photographs.
Small Town Short Stories
Paperback: 220 pages
Published by Jackpine Writers’ Bloc 2007