"Masks: Stories from a Pandemic" by Peter Cherches

  • "Masks: Stories from a Pandemic" by Peter Cherches

In the spring of 2020, shortly after he had started wearing a face mask outside his home, Peter Cherches began writing about masks, literally the face of COVID-19. These 16 stories, written between April and December of that year, capture the surreal experience of living through a global pandemic and all its attendant challenges—personal, political, and social. This small volume is both a mask-muffled cry and a full-throated belly laugh. Reactions are to be expected, and are no cause for concern.


With Masks, Peter Cherches delivers an artful assortment of stories that transcend the long ache of a pandemic. And he does so with a deft and clear-eyed amalgam of wisdom and wit. Here, happily, is the literary equivalent of an antidote.
—Robert Scotellaro, author of What Are the Chances? and Nothing Is Ever One Thing
Cherches’ little masterwork of flash fiction—wry, uncanny, perceptive—takes us through dream, fabulation, memory, and unexpected encounter into our fumbling shared discovery of life during pandemic. The insecure protagonist of these tidbit fables flits from encounter-to-encounter like a post-modern Candide, introducing us invitingly to a delicious new character type, the gentle, genial, ironic naif—an everyman who brings us warmly into our own fool’s journeys and into contact with the droll lessons we pick-up along the way. Sweet, witty, and ever alert, Cherches’ Masks is a perfect pocket companion for these dicey times.
—Marc Zegans, author of La Commedia Sotterranea

Peter Cherches


Called “one of the innovators of the short short story” by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches has lived his creative life in the literary, music, and performance worlds of New York City and beyond for over four decades, as writer, editor, performance artist, singer, and lyricist.
    His writing has appeared in scores of magazines, anthologies and websites, including Transatlantic Review, Harper’s, Bomb, North American Review, Fiction International, Fence, Little Star, High Times, Hambone, Semiotext(e), MungBeing, and Poetry 180. Poet Billy Collins wrote, “To Gödel, Escher, and Bach we might consider adding Peter Cherches.” He has published three volumes of short prose with Pelekinesis since 2013: Lift Your Right Arm, Autobiography Without Words, and Whistler’s Mother’s Son.

His previous Bamboo Dart Press chapbook, Tracks: Memoirs from a Life with Music, was published in 2021.

Facebook: @PeterCherchesWriter

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