George Garrett Fiction Prize Winner - Coming in October 2021

Preorder now from your favorite bookseller!

Advance Praise for MIXED COMPANY

"I don't know the last time I devoured so quickly—so completely—a book of short fiction. The stories in Mixed Company are breezy, vivid, at turns delightful and aching—and quite serious. Truly, across chasms of gender, race, and class, across generations and just across town, these stories aim to do nothing less than remind us of the messiness and grace of reaching out to one another."

​-Joe Wilkins, author of Fall Back Down When I Die and The Mountain and the Fathers

"Jenny Shank can write about anything and it is full of love and promise and grace, and she is not sentimental. I don't think one story yet has passed by without bringing tears to my eyes."

- Lucia Berlin, New York Times Bestselling author of A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

"Jenny Shank’s Mixed Company is a masterfully-written short story collection full of insight and stunning humor. You will never forget these gritty, real characters: Davonya running for her life, the mother-in-law who lost her legs by throwing herself in front of a train, “La Sexycana,” and so many more. In this courageous exploration of place, race, and survival, Mixed Company is a book to read and reread in utter delight."

-Erika Krouse, author of Come Up and See Me Sometime and Contenders


In Mixed Company Jenny Shank reveals moments of grace and connection between people of her hometown, Denver, through stories that contrast the city during its oil-bust era of economic troubles and court-ordered crosstown busing for racial desegregation with the burgeoning and gentrifying city of recent years.

In "Hurts," a girls' basketball team at a majority Black Denver high school clashes with a white mountain team. In "Casa del Rey," a cautious pregnant woman must contend with her out-of-control and intrusive neighbor. In "La Sexycana," a bottom-feeding journalist ventures to a dance club to confront the young Latina woman she mentored as a teenager who then cut off all contact with her. "Lightest Lights Against Darkest Darks" follows a white middle schooler bused to a majority Black school who falls under the spell of her magnetic and racially ambiguous art teacher. In "Signing for Linemen," a graduate student in medieval literature takes a job as a summer tutor for a college football team and ends up learning more than she expected about athletes, American Sign Language, and herself. In "Local Honey," middle-aged white parents bring their adopted Black teenage son to a Wu-Tang Clan concert in an attempt to bond with him.

The characters find their initial perceptions and ideas overturned in these stories laced with humor, heart, and grit. Jenny Shank forges fiction out of the sparks that fly when diverse people encounter one another.