Truth lies in life’s extremes, as Mary Otis’s elegantly crafted debut collection combines the hilarious with the tragic. These partially linked stories follow the strange and comic adventures of characters united by longing and misplaced passions: a lonely teenage girl falls in love with an older, married neighbor; a boy learns the fine art of shoplifting from his father; a schoolteacher gets fired for teaching time incorrectly; and a young woman receives guidance from a drunk therapist. Quirky and funny, yet deeply human, the stories in Yes, Yes, Cherries seek answers to the questions of whom we love and why, how we search for love, lose it, or find it- sometimes at the last moment and in the most unlikely places.

One of E! Entertainment’s “Books You Must Read” for 2007
“These are invisible people in pockets of the city that go underchronicled… What ties them all together is Otis’ strong voice, which is jittery and electric, unsettling like the Santa Ana winds… bringing the same eye for detail from one story to the next.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Yes, Yes, Cherries offers an intriguing batch of imperfect characters and unstable conditions.  Otis has a sharp eye for people’s habits.  She knows how to draw flawed relationships.  And under her guidance, hearing about the agony of lust and love never gets old.”
-Esquire *
* Powells Books Review of the Day

“Mary Otis writes with empathy and a cockeyed wit.”
-Los Angeles Magazine

“Otis’ keenly written debut short story collection features characters caught up in longing, indiscretion, and unrequited desire. Otis’ tales are clever and concise… The Allison stories are the most endearing, since her journey is as unexpected as so-called everyday life.”

“An adroit debut collection… sharply drawn and notable for it’s depth.”
-Publishers Weekly

“The ten tales told in Yes, Yes, Cherries , Mary Otis’s debut short story collection, chart the existential snags and crags familiar to all dreamers. Otis plots an unforgiving but readily identifiable topography. Libraries are sanctuaries, but sometimes snares. Doctors offer prescriptions, but only after they’ve pumped clients for details about their sex lives.

Otis’s work resides somewhere between Aimee Bender’s behavioral examination and Lorrie Moore’s mordant world view. She has a great talent…a promising writer who successfully convinces that the dreamers are as worthy of pardon as the criminals.
– Edward Champion,

“In a collection of powerful short stories, Mary Otis shines light on how and why we fall in love… intimate stories of vastly different characters… Otis entertains with her remarkable observations about one of life’s great mysteries”
– Wish Magazine

Yes, Yes, Cherries skates through the margins of American dreaming, its great poignancy balanced on heartbreaking absurdities.  Mary Otis offers a dead-on candor spliced through with perceptual leaps, her realism glinting with near-psychotropic sparks.  An irresistible collection, Yes, Yes, Cherries beautifully enacts the poetry of bewilderment.”
– Nancy Reisman, author of The First Desire and House Fires

“An assured collection, linked occasionally by character but always by Otis’s remarkable voice, her gift for the luminous detail, the surprising turn, the transcendent finish.”
-Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Sister Noon

“The characters in these stories, whether a teacher who teaches time incorrectly, a policeman-philosopher  at the scene of an accident, or a young girl who wears a frosted blond wig and knocks on her neighbor’s door to sell ‘what you need to buy’ show us what it means to be human.  That’s all a reader asks of any story.  That is, of course, everything.  Mary Otis writes stories that radiate intelligence, compassion, and humor.”
– Ellen Slezak, author of Last Year’s Jesus and All These Girls.

“Otis does a fine job recreating the contradictory impulses of reason and feeling. Her sharp, lively prose maintains a tautness of rhythm that speaks to her ability as a sentence-crafter.”