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In Short Measures

Three Novellas

“A propulsively well-written trio of novellas linked by a sense of loss and an inquiry into the impossible past.” —Kate Christensen

In his three novellas, “In Short Measures,” “Strong Conspirators,” and “Sally Forth,” Michael Ruhlman delves deeply into the nuanced complexity of romantic and sexual love—and the inevitable evolution of the heart over the span of years and decades.

Each novella asks questions about the nature of love in terms of loyalty and fidelity—what are one’s obligations toward one’s spouse, one’s family, and one’s heart? In the first novella, “In Short Measures,” these questions are bound up in a writer’s work and a long-ago love. In the second, “Strong Conspirators,” an unforeseen, cataclysmic event calls for responses from a husband and wife that have never been rehearsed because they have never been required nor even imagined. In “Sally Forth,” a pair of old friends is forced to explore lost youth and lost love relative to maturity, marriage, and the passage of time.

Profoundly thought-provoking and satisfying, these novellas are beautifully written with plot twists from beginning to end that will captivate the reader.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

"A bestselling food writer tries his hand at fiction. . . . The rarely seen but quite enjoyable novella form serves this maiden effort well." —Kirkus Reviews

"Ruhlman's trio is a worthy read." —Publisher's Weekly

"Ruhlman dispels the notion that novellas don’t allow for a well-developed narrative. In Short Measures is rich, textured, and carefully constructed not only for surprises, but also with a powerful love of language and description throughout." —Washington Independent Review of Books

"Fans of Michael Ruhlman's nonfiction and new readers alike will marvel, as I did, at his fictional debut. Ruhlman writes with intelligence and grace about the things that matter: love and loss and redemption. This is a literary achievement of the first order." —Ann Hood, award-winning and bestselling author of The Knitting Circle

"In Short Measures is a propulsively well-written trio of novellas linked by a sense of loss and an inquiry into the impossible past. Ruhlman's voice is poetic and visceral, and his characters feel both familiar and strange in the way of the best fiction. This is a richly layered book, full of surprises and pleasures." —Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

"In his fictional debut, Michael Ruhlman gives us three intriguing novellas about loss, regret, and the passage of time: how we lose each other and ourselves, and what we do when we reach the outer limits of the commitments we've made." —Lily King, bestselling and award-winning author of Euphoria

"The three novellas in In Short Measures take on the joys and sorrows of romance, especially middle-aged nostalgia for the lost, seemingly perfect loves of the past. 'We can't hold feelings for this long, can we?' one character wonders. Yes, Michael Ruhlman answers, we can, and just look what it does to us." —Stewart O'Nan, author of West of Sunset

"A bestselling food writer tries his hand at fiction. . . . The rarely seen but quite enjoyable novella form serves this maiden effort well." —Kirkus Reviews

"Ruhlman's trio is a worthy read." —Publisher's Weekly

"Ruhlman dispels the notion that novellas don’t allow for a well-developed narrative. In Short Measures is rich, textured, and carefully constructed not only for surprises, but also with a powerful love of language and description throughout." —Washington Independent Review of Books

"Fans of Michael Ruhlman's nonfiction and new readers alike will marvel, as I did, at his fictional debut. Ruhlman writes with intelligence and grace about the things that matter: love and loss and redemption. This is a literary achievement of the first order." —Ann Hood, award-winning and bestselling author of The Knitting Circle

"In Short Measures is a propulsively well-written trio of novellas linked by a sense of loss and an inquiry into the impossible past. Ruhlman's voice is poetic and visceral, and his characters feel both familiar and strange in the way of the best fiction. This is a richly layered book, full of surprises and pleasures." —Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

"In his fictional debut, Michael Ruhlman gives us three intriguing novellas about loss, regret, and the passage of time: how we lose each other and ourselves, and what we do when we reach the outer limits of the commitments we've made." —Lily King, bestselling and award-winning author of Euphoria

"The three novellas in In Short Measures take on the joys and sorrows of romance, especially middle-aged nostalgia for the lost, seemingly perfect loves of the past. 'We can't hold feelings for this long, can we?' one character wonders. Yes, Michael Ruhlman answers, we can, and just look what it does to us." —Stewart O'Nan, author of West of Sunset