Entry Level

Winner of the 2021 Fiction Prize, selected by Deesha Philyaw

US List Price: $17.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

Entry Level

Winner of the 2021 Fiction Prize, selected by Deesha Philyaw

US List Price: $17.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

About the Book

Wendy Wimmer’s debut short story collection, Entry Level, contains a range of characters who are trying to find, assert, or salvage their identities. These fifteen stories center around the experience of being underemployed—whether by circumstance, class, gender, race, or other prevailing factors—and the toll this takes on an individual. Wimmer pushes the boundaries of reality, creating stories that are funny, fantastic, and at times terrifying. Her characters undergo feats of endurance, heartbreak, and loneliness, all while trying to succeed in a world that so often undervalues them. From a young marine biologist suffering from imposter syndrome and a haunting to a bingo caller facing another brutal snowstorm and a creature that may or not be an angel, Wimmer’s characters are all confronting an oppressive universe that seemingly operates against them or is, at best, indifferent to them. These stories reflect on the difficulties of modern-day survival and remind us that piecing together a life demands both hope and resilience.


Praise for Entry Level

An intriguing, wide-ranging story collection with a hint of magic.
Kirkus Reviews, starred

Wimmer’s innovative and darkly humorous debut collection employs emergency situations and fantastical elements as the protagonists struggle to make a living with low-paying jobs. . . . When Mary Ellen, who had a mastectomy, discovers her breast has regrown, the narrator’s understated reaction perfectly sums up the mood of Wimmer’s characters: “We had confirmation that something weird was happening.” Throughout, Wimmer makes the most of strange situations.
Publishers Weekly

In the world of Wendy Wimmer’s Entry Level, no job is too small, nor is it ever just a job.  In cities and across rural landscapes and dreamscapes, we find clerks and corpses, mothers and daughters, cruise entertainers and scientists, grappling with longing and loss. The stories are, at turns, heartfelt and hilarious, wry and whimsical, full of magic and mayhem. These are well-crafted love stories, ghost stories, and stories of everyday people just trying to navigate life’s cruelties and impossibilities. Wimmer writes with an intimacy and immediacy that take you down a fresh rabbit hole from the first line, each time. Each tale is as smart, exquisite, and surprising as the next. I really didn’t want this collection to end!
—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

The stories in Entry Level are propulsive, funny, delightfully unpredictable, and utterly addictive. Wendy Wimmer is a true original—a bright star of her generation. Here’s hoping Entry Level is the beginning of a long, fruitful career!
—Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk

The stories in Entry Level are grounded in the familiar—a cruise ship, a bingo parlor, a skating rink, an ordinary home—then veer into the uncanny, into dreams and sometimes nightmares. Wendy Wimmer writes with great skill and quirky humor, so that we are led, step by step, into other realities almost without our noticing. The dead don’t stay dead, or at least, they don’t stay quiet. Time spins and reverses. These are unsettling and always entertaining stories.
—Jean Thompson, author of The Poet’s House

Wendy Wimmer writes from Wisconsin, under the strict supervision of two dogs and a cat. She holds a Master of Arts and PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, respectively. Her work has been published in Barrelhouse, Waxwing, Paper Darts, Believer, ANMLY, Per Contra, […]

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