Ross McMeekin
THE HUMMINGBIRDS (Skyhorse Press, 2018)

Ross McMeekin’ s short stories have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Shenandoah, Redivider, PANK, and elsewhere. His essays have appeared in Hunger Mountain, The Rumpus, and Green Mountains Review. He’ s a weekly columnist for the Ploughshares blog, where he reviews short fiction. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Tin House Summer Workshop. He is a former fellow of the Richard Hugo House and the Jack Straw Writers Program. He lives in Seattle.

Praise for The Hummmingbirds

“There’s something different about Ross McMeekin’s debut novel, The Hummingbirds, a fresh sincerity combined with dark humor. McMeekin writes with a dreamlike haziness that prevents The Hummingbirds from becoming the literary equivalent of an effects-driven action movie. Instead, it’s a quiet, sometimes tender meditation on the authority of desire–the influence we give it and the influence it has over us.”–Chicago Review of Books

The Hummingbirds is about the hollow truths at the hearth of the glamorous lie that is Hollywood.”–Seattle Review of Books

The Hummingbirds is existential contemporary noir with West Coast gothic vibes.”–Necessary Fiction

“This Hollywood-set novel has a noir plot but an uncynical soul.”–The Stranger

The Hummingbirds is the book I’d recommend for anyone with a soft spot for a well written psychological thriller…Groundskeeper Ezra falls into a weird relationship with his celebrity clients, a would-be star and her producer husband. There’s the Middle East, a cult, adultery surveillance, loads of money, more glitz—and Los Angeles itself, with its lush scenery and greenery.”–Literary Hub

“With sly wit and piercing intelligence, Ross McMeekin’s novel traverses the classic terrain of California noir and manages, almost miraculously, to render it anew. Echoes of Cain, echoes of West, and yet even as the lush, light-struck world of swimming pools and starlets is rendered in all its nearly-sinister invitation, the book sneaks up on us with a startling and profound empathy. The Hummingbirds is truly beautiful.”–Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine

“Readers of The Hummingbirds will find themselves in a hard world softened by the people who live there. Ross McMeekin’s smart, stylish novel is as sexy as they come; even its edginess is forgiving. And on another note, McMeekin’s female characters rock.”–Abby Frucht, author of A Well-Made Bed

The Hummingbirds is a literary page-turner that delves unflinchingly into the dark side of the American Dream. Set against a background shaped by religious fanaticism, adultery, violence, and Hollywood glamour, this story sheds an unforgiving light on the dangerous ways in which we betray those we love–as well as our better selves. Ross McMeekin has written a remarkable book.”–Clint McCown, author of Haints

“Ezra, our main narrator among the threesome, is a compelling sort of anti-hero, a Proustian ‘watcher’ of the world’s pleasure-takers. He sees but can’t quite bring himself to believe how beauty may corrupt, turn poisonous. The Hollywood set of this book–its glitter and seduction–entices us to feel a similar pull towards all that appears beautiful . . . even sensing our eventual emergence into the dark underbelly. The layers of storylines and perspectives are masterfully done. Bravo. A riveting read.”–Nance Van Winckel, author of Quake, Boneland, and Ever Yrs.

“‘Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,’ Rilke says in the epigraph to The Hummingbirds, Ross McMeekin’s stunning debut novel, and the story that follows certainly bears out the truth of those words. Told from the perspectives of a beautiful, sexy starlet, her nefarious producer husband, and their handsome young groundskeeper, the morally tortured son of a cult leader called the Prophetess of the Apocalypse, the novel is a dark, suspenseful meditation on beauty and the devastating consequences of the privileges it grants. It is a beautiful and terrifying book, one that will make you think of another famous line from Rilke: ‘You must change your life.'”–David Jauss, author of Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories and Nice People: New & Selected Stories II

The Hummingbirds is a literary beach read that isn’t afraid to steer its characters into grim territories, a modern noir that’s easily consumable, but which contains evocative character beats . . . the result is a nimble excursion into a time-honored genre.”—Vol. 1 Brooklyn