UMKC’s BkMk Press releases “Beauties” novel

Mary Troy’s book wins USA Book News’ Best Books 2010 Award for Literary Fiction

The University of Missouri-Kansas City‘s (UMKC) BkMk Press announces the November publication of “Beauties,” a novel by Mary Troy. Set in urban south St. Louis in the late 1990s, “Beauties” follows cousins Bev, who has one leg, and Shelly, who is a former model, as they open Alibi Cafe. The two go on to transform the way each understands success – in cooking, business, longing for parenthood, love and beauty. The book recently won the USA Book News’ Best Books 2010 Award for Literary Fiction.

In advance praise for the book, ForeWord Reviews writes that the characters’ “relationships to men, and ultimately, to one another, take this novel into a complex, lyrical territory that flirts with greatness. An audience seeking a stately, involved read about human relationships and the meaning of beauty – in all its forms will enjoy this beauty of a novel.”

Novelist Tony D’Souza calls “Beauties” “a lovely novel, a character-driven anatomy of the odds and ends of relations and friends we cobble together in the modern age.” Novelist David Haynes, originally from St. Louis, writes, “‘Beauties’ ranks among the most generous, humane novels I’ve read.”

Troy is the author of three short-story collections. “Beauties” further develops characters and settings first introduced in her successful story collection “The Alibi Cafe,” also from BkMk Press. She directs the MFA program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she edits “Natural Bridge,” a journal of contemporary literature. Her prizes include the Nelson Algren Award for fiction and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award for the book “Cookie Lily”. “Beauties” is her first novel.

Founded in 1971, BkMk Press has been a part of UMKC since 1983. BkMk concentrates on publishing collections of poetry, short fiction and creative essays. Publishing six titles a year, BkMk Press has more than 125 titles in print. Assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

“Beauties” (ISBN 978-1-886157-74-3) is 370 pages, and the retail price is $16.95. BkMk books are available through Ingram Book Company, SPD and Baker & Taylor. For additional information, contact Ben Furnish at BkMk Press at (816) 235-2558.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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