Old Crimes

and Other Stories


By Jill McCorkle

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$35.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 9, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Beloved author Jill McCorkle delivers a collection of masterful stories that are as complex as novels—deeply perceptive, funny, and tragic in equal measure—about crimes large and small.

McCorkle, author of the New York Times bestselling Life After Life and the widely acclaimed Hieroglyphics (“One of our wryest, warmest, wisest storytellers” —Rebecca Makkai), brings us a breathtaking collection of stories that offers an intimate look at the moments when a person’s life changes forever.

Old Crimes delves into the lives of characters who hold their secrets and misdeeds close, even as the past continues to reverberate across generations. And despite the characters’ yearnings for connection, they can’t seem to tell the whole truth: A woman uses her hearing impairment as a way to guard herself from her husband’s commentary. A telephone lineman strains to communicate with his family even as he feels pushed aside in a digital world. A young couple buys a confessional booth for fun, only to discover the cost of honesty. A family reunion, ripe with treasured memories, takes place amid a secret that will alter all of their futures. Throughout, McCorkle takes us deep into these conflicted and sympathetic characters, puzzling to figure out the meaning of their own lives.

Moving and unforgettable, the stories in Old Crimes capture miniworlds full of great intensity, longing, affection, and the daily small crimes people hold close. 

  • "A splendid, wide-ranging collection that once again proves McCorkle is a master of the form."
    Jenny Offill, author of Weather
  • “Jill McCorkle has had an extraordinary ear for the music of ordinary life since the beginning of her career, able to work with the voices we know so well to write these stories about they will not tell us, what they would rather not tell us, what they hope to tell us, what too often goes unsaid.  And this collection is a new wonder.”

    Alexander Chee, author of How to Write An Autobiographical Novel
  • “Each story here is so carefully wrought yet wildly original at the same time, deeply wedded to the real world in all its complexity and detail. It seems to me that each one contains an entire life---and often, a whole novel. What a beautiful book.”

    Lee Smith, author of Silver Alert
  • “With her wry humor, deep understanding of  human connection and disconnection, and a tremendous sense of fun, Jill McCorkle has given us another dazzling collection of stories.”
    Lily King, author of Five Tuesdays in Winter
  • Named a Most Anticipated Book of Winter/2024 by Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionLitHub, & Tertulia
  • “Steeped in loneliness while drilling straight to the heart of emotion, these standalone narratives collectively deliver a stunning study on the shared experience of isolation… Jill McCorkle has assembled a stunning collection of survivors who share something far more important than location, time or identity.”
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • “Jill McCorkle returns… with a sharpness and intensity only the briefer form can provide… One of the great pleasures of reading McCorkle’s work is her gift for taking readers into the layered depths of characters’ minds, revealing them in flashes of thought and feeling that seem utterly natural and effortless on the page. She’s a masterful tour guide to the human psyche. Though the stories in Old Crimes are often dark and rich in sorrow, they resonate with sympathy for the way we all struggle, many times in vain, to make peace with ourselves and the people we love.”
  • “Often funny, evenly darkly comic at times, McCorkle's memorable collection calls to mind Alice Munro and Charles Baxter.”
  • "McCorkle is a brilliant storyteller... Wonderfully rich and emotionally complicated stories."
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "[A] satisfying collection… McCorkle serves up plenty of humor and heartache… and often pushes her stories toward empathetic and surprising climaxes. McCorkle fans will gobble this up."
    Publishers Weekly
  • “[R]ich with wry dialogue and insights into lives shaped by moments that can resonate for years… Unexpected and compelling repeat appearances will send readers back to reread, and to savor the skillful writing of a first-rate storyteller.”
    Shelf Awareness
  •  “A short story collection that showcases Jill McCorkle’s ability to create a life, a history and a realization in only a few sketches… Jill McCorkle has created 12 tiny masterpieces here.”
    Book Reporter
  • “The sweet spot of McCorkle’s stories… is where her characters have moved unprepared through an important intersection of their lives, and must now sort out their situation.”
    The News of Orange County
  • “I’ve rarely read a collection that has stayed with me like this one has… I was stunned by the depth of this new work… you are in for a treat with this brilliant collection.”
    Seattle Book Review
  • “[McCorkle] is at the top of her game here, with a diverse and memorable cast of characters that plumb the depths of the human condition—but somehow manage to flutter with hope."
    The Hippo
  • “Jill McCorkle is a master of her craft, and while I am tempted to call Old Crimes one of her greatest books, I will instead just call it equal to her others. There are no bad choices here, only greatness.”
    Colorado Sun
  • “Jill McCorkle takes ordinary people, puts them in common situations and makes extraordinary stories. She has done it again in her latest collection of short stories, Old Crimes and Other Stories. All beautifully written… [she] proves again why she is one of America’s favorite authors.”
    The Wilson Times
  • “A collection of 12 stories so full, so beautiful and true, at once so funny and so heartbreakingly sad and bittersweet, that it feels as if she’s taken the short form to another level. This is not one book with 12 stories in it; it’s 12 books under one cover.”​
    The Local Reporter (Chapel Hill)

On Sale
Jan 9, 2024
Page Count
256 pages
Algonquin Books


Jill McCorkle

About the Author

Jill McCorkle has the distinction of having published her first two novels on the same day in 1984.  Of these novels, the New York Times Book Review said: "one suspects the author of The Cheer Leader is a born novelist.  With July 7th, she is also a full grown one." Since then she has published five other novels—most recently, Hieroglyphics—and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books and four of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories.  McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, the North Carolina Award for Literature and the Thomas Wolfe Prize; she was recently inducted into the NC Literary Hall of Fame. McCorkle has taught at Harvard, Brandeis, and NC State where she remains affiliated with the MFA Program in creative writing and she is core faculty in the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Learn more about this author