Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It

Maile Meloy

Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It
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Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It

Maile Meloy

A love-struck young ranch hand, an aging Argentine lover, a trusted confidante who isn’t a friend and two hitchhikers named Bonnie and Clyde. Caught between opposing forces-fidelity and desire, impulse and security, innocence and experience-Meloy’s unforgettable characters have each reached a fork in the road. But what kind of fool wants it only one way? These eleven stories are funny, sly and sparkling with energy. Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It is a joyous read.


This stunning collection – acclaimed by Richard Ford and Ann Patchett, as well as publications like the New Yorker – began life as the author’s ‘secret stash’ of not-quite-right stories. When Granta told her it was naming her one its Best Young American Novelists, it asked for a story to publish for the occasion. Sifting through her stash, she found that many of those stories had more potential than she’d thought.

And so, after reworking some of those unjustly discarded stories (and writing more), this accidental book took shape – after one previous story collection and two well-reviewed novels – and it’s been her most praised work to date. With good reason: the stories here are slyly witty, deeply moving and compulsively readable. There’s the cowboy who develops a hopeless crush on a lawyer who lives nine hours drive away, after aimlessly following a crowd into a classroom one lonely night. And the wronged wife who turns out to have once been the ‘other woman’ in this relationship herself, and is less helpless than she appears. Or the adult brothers who squabble like kids for dominance, and for the affections of the older brother’s beloved daughter (also a beloved niece).

Treat yourself to this elegant, understated, utterly seductive book.

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