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Not unlike a Robert Altman film with a sprawling & stellar ensemble cast, Kerry Trautman's novella "Irregulars" weaves a myriad of stories over breakfast on one morning in a small town diner. We follow our protagonist, a still-young but not-quite-as hopeful-as-she-once-was waitress as she floats from table to table, back of house to front, serving customers, dealing with coworkers, managing her anxieties, and remembering moments of her own past and, with omniscience, those of the families and individuals seated at tables 4, 10, 7, 8 and 5.


70 pages.

Published: July 18, 2023




"The wonderful imagery of a poet and the characterization of a film director." – Jen Fliss, author of The Predatory Animal Ball




"IRREGULARS is for anyone who has ever sat in a cafe imagining the lives of strangers. Kerry Trautman's unnamed gimlet-eyed waitress moves from table to table, serving up pancakes and coffee alongside a healthy helping of interior speculation in this sharp and vivid homage to the intimate unknowability of people as a means to excavate the self. " – Sara Lippmann, author of Lech, Jerks, and Doll Palace




"A beautiful and addictive read that takes us into the world of a server during her shift at a diner. We get all the scoop about her co-workers as well as the backstory of each of the regulars who eat there. The lonely men with their eggs over easy, the grown triplets who still wear matching outfits to please their mother, and so many more. Each story brings its main character to life in wonderful detail. A brilliant premise expertly executed." - Francine Witte, author of Just Outside the Tunnel of Love




"Kerry Trautman’s unnamed protagonist in Irregulars is the quintessential waitress in any Midwestern small-town cafe, well-versed in the smile that lets every customer think they know her as she drops off their coffee and eggs. Within her point-of-view, we’re privileged to her inner life, but it's her own imaginings and observations spiraling out into the lives of her regulars and others that ultimately render our narrator herself in the most poignant detail. Irregulars is a beautiful booklet, heartbreakingly accurate in its portraits." - Dave Essinger, author of Running Out and editor of Slippery Elm Literary Journal

Irregulars PDF

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