The Inner Life of Objects

by Maxine Combs

There’s Opal Kirshbaum, an aspiring actress; Opal’s painter husband, Sol; Geneva Lamb, an English Ph.D.; Poppy Greengold, a single mother who’s fond of Goddess books; and guest lecturer Abel Moore, a visiting psychic whose predictions are accurate 33% of the time. All five of these people make up the Zoetic Society, an organization devoted to the exploration of the paranormal. This sassy novel is a romp through their lives, and the perfect quirky read.



“Taut prose and a dynamic ensemble of characters…. Intellectually and spiritually provocative…. In an era where many seem to be searching for greater  meaning, Combs offers readers a fascinating examination of the nature of belief and how it colors perception.” —Publishers Weekly

“A wonderfully funny and poetic book. Maxine Combs has a keen eye for the poignant oddities of ordinary lives.” —Dori Appel, 1998 Oregon Book Award Winner

“Loaded with surprises, odd juxtapositions, flashes of wisdom and humor, and moments of beauty.” —Shirley G. Cochrane, author of Letters to the Quick/Letters to the Dead

“An engaging, intelligent novel.” —Jody Carr, author of Lost and Found


Maxine Combs taught English in Washington, D.C. Former fiction editor for The Antietam Review. Her other books are two novels: Handbook of the Strange (Signal, 1996) and The Foam of Perilous Seas (Slough Press), and two poetry books from Wineberry Press: Swimming out of the Collective Unconscious (1999) and Listening for Wings (2002). She loved horse racing, and her husband has shares in three horses named after her and her books: “Dr. Max,” “Inner Life of Objects,” and “Listening for Wings.” She died in 2002. She won the Larry Neal Award for Fiction and the Slough Fiction Award.