PORTLAND, OR; January 25, 2022 — An ancient proverb claims that “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes.” Such is reflected in the various ways people tell themselves their own stories and the meaning within their experiences, but actual revelation of characters’ tales defy the traditional methods of the telling.

Cynthia C. Sample’s Forms of Defiance presents a broad variety of people caught in the complexities of their humanity, revealing their narratives, even to themselves according to their peculiarities — Bible concordance entries, playlists, poems, diaries and others — while dissecting the human complexities they are experiencing, and making choices about them.


The Sound of My Love

MY HUSBAND’S SILENCE is mostly thin, the world inside our house still, except for the ongoing prattle of Fox commentators on the state of the economy. Sometimes though, my husband’s silence thickens like a choking smoke: when he can’t find his keys or the television is on the fritz or his computer is having a conniption fit. Even if curses come out of his mouth, he remains poker-faced, which, after all, is a form of silence. It takes an expert to discern what he really means, what intentions lie under the surface of the stoic muscles holding his cheeks immobile and his forehead expressionless. It requires exquisite attention to know if the air is thin or thick, if the house is safe or dangerous, if he will come to me or no.

About Cynthia C. Sample
Stories from Dallas native, Cynthia C. Sample, have appeared in NumeroCinq, Summerset Review, Sleet, Blue Lake Review, Starlight Literary Journal and others. She holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Vermont College and a Ph.D. in finance from University of Texas at Dallas.


Cynthia Sample’s quirky and outrageously insightful stories sing with a voice so particular and peculiar that the reader can’t help but be seduced. I was. One after another, story after story, Sample entertains us, all the while sneakily investigating and laying bare all the secrets of humanity. I’ve never read anything like these — and I only want more. — Robin Oliviera

In one of the stories in this stunning debut collection, Cynthia C. Sample invokes the astronomical concept of parallax when describing a documentary her protagonist watches at an observatory: “The camera pulls back over and over again,” she writes, “each time showing what the universe looks like from that imagined vantage point.” Forms of Defiance gives us fifty-three parallactic views on another kind of universe, the universe of fears, desires, hopes, and secrets inside us all. Her book is brilliantly original, fiercely honest, and laced with a wise and heartbreaking wit. In short, it’s the real thing: a book that truly matters. I urge you to read it and share it with those you love. — David Jauss

Some writers work with hammers, some with shovels, still others with pitchforks or chainsaws. Cynthia Sample’s tool of choice is the scalpel, an instrument she wields to thrilling, deliciously wicked effect in Forms of Defiance. Each story in this stellar collection aims true and cuts deep, laying open the essential inner workings of our all too human selves. Unnerving at times, and delightful all of the time, Forms of Defiance is a work of masterful literary dissection. — Ben Fountain

Forms of Defiance is a restless, eccentric, witty book of stories that defy definition. Some stories are shorter than their titles. One is a list of Bible verses. One is a prayer diary. One is an essay about coffins. One consists of a recorded tornado warning alert. Cynthia Sample defies form by borrowing forms. The results are astonishing — astringently ironic, yet intimate. She is a mistress of the killer one-liner. And at the heart of every character is a special kind of bravado in the face of what life throws at us. — Douglas Glover

About Unsolicited Press

Unsolicited Press was founded in 2012 and is based in Portland, OR. The press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Learn more at www.unsolicitedpress.com.

FORMS OF DEFIANCE is available on January 25, 2022 as a paperback (178 p.; 978–1–950730–91–9) and e-book (all major retailers). The title is distributed to the trade by Ingram.

Press only, Unsolicited Press
Eric Rancino

For artist interviews, readings, and podcasts:
Cynthia C. Sample: cynthiacsample@gmail.com




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