Announcing the Debut Short Story Collection from Max Hipp!

What Doesn’t Kill You Opens Your Heart

The characters in Max Hipp’s debut story collection howl with loneliness. They’ve reached the ends of their coping mechanisms and bank accounts and are making terrible life choices and trying to recover in the wake of them. We’ve got folks who can’t let go of the past, folks obsessed with sex and music, lovers stuck in dismal relationships, and clueless romantics who probably need their asses whipped. Heartbreak piles up like car crashes in the fog, and everybody just has to carry on like everything’s fine. These stories keep hitting the funny/sad notes, and with his scalpel-tip sentences, Hipp marches readers through the wringer, with great compassion for the lost and searching.

Publish date: 04.09.24

 Advance Praise for What Doesn’t Kill You Opens Your Heart

Max Hipp is the last lost soldier of untenured working-class southern lit. Unapologetically grotesque, delightfully craven, derangedly horny, and unforgivably honest, What Doesn’t Kill You… earns a spot on the shelf beside Dickey, Stanford, Portis, and Brown.

Lee Durkee, author of The Last Taxi Driver and Stalking Shakespeare:
A Memoir of Madness, Murder, and My Search for the Poet Beneath the Paint

In the story “Cliff Burton Rules,” “Loretta wants Marlon, Marlon wants himself, Pam wants me, and I want world domination,” but for most of the narrators in Hipp’s debut collection, their aspirations are much more modest. Hounded by lost jobs, left-behind women and children, and tragedies they can and can’t name, they wear the scars on their bodies and in their hearts. A phenomenal collection about real people told with great sharpness and sorrow.

Mary Miller, author of Biloxi, Always Happy Hour,
and The Last Days of California

After reading What Doesn’t Kill You Opens Your Heart, I can honestly say that of the many authors in Oxford, Mississippi, native Max Hipp is one of the very best, and that’s saying something. Although his writing is wholly his own, Hipp’s simple but extraordinary stories bring to mind those of our gone but iconic writers Barry Hannah and Larry Brown — Barry’s hilarious humor, brilliant jinking with language and twisted action, and Larry’s deeply perceived sense of a place, its characters and their hearts. This is a book that for me inspired one of the greatest possible responses to reading it: I can’t wait to read what the hell this guy comes up with next.

Lisa Howorth, author of Flying Shoes
and Summerlings, and co-owner of Square Books

With wonder and awe! That’s how I read these terrific stories by Max Hipp.

Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,
Smonk, and Hell at the Breech

Max Hipp’s What Doesn’t Kill You… presents an array of heartbroken characters rendered with humor and a rough, understated lyricism. These stories embrace absurdity and emanate compassion for troubled, misguided, self-destructive people. This book is surprising, full of heart, and utterly entertaining.

Melissa Ginsburg, author of Dear Weather Ghost, Sunset City,
The House Uptown, and Doll Apollo

Max Hipp is a teacher, writer, and musician from Oxford, Mississippi. His work has appeared in, among others, Southern Humanities Review, Cheap Pop, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Black Warrior Review. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Mississippi.