Rust, Elissa Minor 1977–

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Rust, Elissa Minor 1977–

PERSONAL: Born 1977.

ADDRESSES: Home—Lake Oswego, OR. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Ohio University Press, Scott Quadrangle, 1 Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979.

CAREER: Writer.


The Prisoner Pear: Stories from the Lake, Ohio University Press/Swallow Press (Athens, OH), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Baltimore Review, Orchid: A Literary Review, Honolulu Magazine, and Beacon Street Review.

SIDELIGHTS: Short story writer Elissa Minor Rust's first fiction collection, The Prisoner Pear: Stories from the Lake, is an "intriguing, nicely polished debut col-lection of twelve stories," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic. Set in affluent areas of the Pacific Northwest, the stories are characterized by "solid, believable characters rendered in careful, deliberate prose," remarked a reviewer in Publishers Weekly.

In "Moon over Water," the moon rises and remains full for more than ninety consecutive days in the skies above Portland and western Oregon, causing increased growth and fertility for everything in nature, including human bodies. While the story's narrator, a mathematics professor, tries to figure out this amazing phenomenon, his students steadily drop out and head east, where the moon still goes through its familiar cycles. His wife and children, growing ever more obese, leave for the more comfortable surroundings of a relative's home in Denver. Though the unnatural moonrise threatens to shatter the life he knows, the narrator still works to enjoy the beauty of the event. In "Rich Girls," a working-class man signs up for a series of increasingly horrendous laboratory experiments, all for money to provide his wife and daughter a better lifestyle. Holly Martino, the protagonist of "Vital Organs," realizes that her kidneys are slowly vanishing—ceasing to exist—much to the dismay of her doctors. In the collection's title story, a young manager at UPS is emotionally torn over asking his well-to-do girlfriend to marry him, and looks for guidance in peculiar events that he interprets as personal signs and portents. The Kirkus Reviews contributor deemed Rust's work "thoughtful, surprising fiction."



Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2005, review of The Prisoner Pear: Stories from the Lake, p. 1105.

Publishers Weekly, October 3, 2005, review of The Prisoner Pear, p. 48.