"Vollmer writes with great wisdom and insight about love, sex, and loss. He is particularly adept at depicting the thrilling experience of young love. Vollmer's narrative voice, reminiscent of T.C. Boyle, is also fully realized and very appealing-irreverent, vital, and bristling with vivid imagery and detail."Library Journal Starred Review"Matthew Vollmer has written a book that looks like America: it's big, funny, sad and hopeful; its ambition is to take over the world. I'm behind it one hundred per cent."Daniel Wallace, author of Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician and Big Fish"The characters who inhabit the hilarious, heartbreaking stories in Future Missionaries of America may be desperate; yet, for all their lost innocence, they have the capacity to celebrate life's joy and pain. At its best, Matthew Vollmer's writing bursts with a kind of ecstatic poetry."Stewart O'Nan, author of Snow Angels, Songs for the Missing and Poe"In prose that manages to be both precise and expansive, Matthew Vollmer tells compassionate stories of people forced to take action against difficult circumstances. This collection is bold and risky, written by a courageous new writer."Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight"From the opening rhapsody to the final prayerful note, Matthew Vollmer's stories beautifully script the drama of a changed world in search of new words. Here you'll find the tensile strengths of realism set beside the radical innovations of experiment, the enduring power of the story reinvented for our new day. Virtuosic in its variations yet held together by a ballast of obsession, Future Missionaries of America has more range than most novels while doing brilliantly what stories do best: it deepens the mystery of others by making that mystery familiar."Charles D'Ambrosio, author of The Point and Other Stories and The Dead Fish Museum"There are large cracks in America, and a person can fall right down into them and never be seen again. Many of Matthew Vollmer's characters are on the verge of doing that. Wacked-out teenagers, mountain survivalists, Adventist evangelists, compulsive gamblers, estranged mothers, Goth girls, world-class skate?boarders, English department dopeheads, broken-hearted dentists, every one of them caught in the midst of an unimaginable situation, usually involving inexpressible love or grief. I have never read any stories like these. Quite often, these stories are saying the unsayable."Lee Smith, author of The Last GirlsBIO: Matthew Vollmer is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and currently teaches at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. His stories have been published in the Paris Review, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Future Missionaries of America is his first book.