"The Loss Detector" by Meg Pokrass

  • "The Loss Detector" by Meg Pokrass

Set in coastal California, The Loss Detector is a funny/sad portrait of teenage blues and of a small, transplanted family of non-conformists. The flawed but lovable characters in Pokrass' novella remind us of how the world's most beautiful places are not always the easiest in which to thrive. Moments of giddy, perceived freedom set against resignation dot the narrative in such a way that will leave you changed. 


The second story in The Loss Detector is “Villa Monterey Apartments” and the last is “Planet Earth” – which seems right to me. They foretell the way that this novella-in-flash narrates its world – from the mundane/small to the unimaginable/large.
Meg Pokrass is the virtuoso of the weird, a specialist of the out-of-the-blue. Her stories take the unexpected route every time, so that with each line the reader is bumped out of her preconceptions. Sometimes even the end of a sentence cannot be counted on. Her narration is confiding but marvelously unsettling. The Loss Detector follows Nikki out of the familiar comfort of family, hurls her into its breakup, and then follows Nikki, her mother, and brother through a series of attempts to remake that family or substitute something else for its loss. Every step along the way is straightforward, poignant, sometimes tender, often funny. It’s everything you never knew a novella-in-flash could be.
- Mary Grimm, author of Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time
Meg Pokrass’s sentences are shot through with wildness and her characters are deliciously untamed.
The Loss Detector may be about stumbling adolescence within a dysfunctional family but every paragraph in it is a bible for how to live - with humour, affection, and a dose of anarchy.
- Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

Meg Pokrass


Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of microfiction, a chapbook of hybrid prose, two flash novellas, and a book of prose poetry. She has received San Francisco's Blue Light Book Award twice.
Her work has been published in hundreds of well-regarded literary journals and included in the anthologies New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction. Meg teaches online flash fiction workshops.

Twitter: @megpokrass

Facebook: @megpokrassauthor

Website: megpokrass.com



The Chapbook trailer for "The Loss Detector" by Meg Pokrass


reads "Villa Monterey Apartments" from The Loss Detector

“The Loss Detector” is written in her economical style, but is an expansive piece in her canon at fifty pages. The arc of time passing in the story is dreamlike as characters come and go, some just falling away one day as do relations in our own lives.

Shrimper Interview with Meg Pokrass, by Dennis Callaci

October 15, 2020

Flash fiction plots are not the typical plots of other forms of fiction: they are internal and psychological. In other words, the character tries to make sense of life and takes the reader with her on this journey and THAT itself is the plot. Something must change in the course of of a story or longer treatment, leading to a quiet shift in a character’s way of being in the world.

Indie Spotlight on Meg Pokrass in “The Next Best Book Blog”

October 10, 2020

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