CORVALLIS, Ore. - A widow discovers her new friend is married to a past lover. A man collects memories of his five ex-wives. A mother of three young children is left reeling by a divorce. Susan Jackson Rodgers' new collection of 19 short stories explores how the past can bubble up into the present, and how we deal with the tension between our past identities and who we have become.

"Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6" is the new short story collection by Rodgers, associate professor of creative writing at Oregon State University. It is distributed by North Carolina-based publisher Press 53.

Rodgers will speak on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library on the OSU campus. The talk is sponsored by the OSU School of Writing, Literature and Film's Literary Northwest reading series. Info:

The stories in "Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6" chronicle various characters' sometimes real, sometimes imagined encounters with ex-lovers, old friends, deceased family members, and former versions of themselves.

Stories from "Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6" have appeared in New England Review, North American Review, and Midwestern Gothic, among other places. Before the collection was picked up for publication by Press 53, it was a finalist for the prestigious Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.

"Think Flannery O'Connor meets 'Desperate Housewives,'" said Susan Shapiro, author of "Overexposed and "Five Men Who Broke My Heart." "A poetic, hilarious, and haunting collection."

Rodgers' previous short story collection, "The Trouble With You Is," (2004) won the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Short Fiction. She lives in Corvallis with her husband and three children.

Her website is

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Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658