Northampton writer MB Caschetta got national attention a few years ago when her debut novel, “Miracle Girls,” received a write-up in People magazine and a few other places. The book also won the 2015 USA Best Book Award for Literary Fiction,
In “Pretend I’m Your Friend,” Caschetta has collected new short stories, as well as previously published ones, and she offers the same mix of humor, darkness and off-beat characters that defined “Miracle Girls.”
In “Sorry Mrs. Robinson,” an older woman who receives a cancer diagnosis flashes back to an affair she’d had years ago and wishes for a moment that one of her daughters was the one facing illness, not her: “She was an awful person. And that was why.”
In “Marry Me Quickly, “ a family’s dark secrets come spilling out at the wedding of one of the siblings. And in “People Say Thank You,” a woman with extrasensory visions accidentally gives her philandering husband her blessing.
“I can’t remember when I’ve read a collection so full of life,” says one reviewer of Caschetta’s stories. “Actual life: the bad jokes, the astounding velocity, the sweetness and darkness.”
MB Caschetta reads from “Pretend I’m Your Friend” Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Broadside Books in Northampton.