These are stories about what we’re afraid of, what we’re ashamed of, what we can’t forget about, and what we don’t want to know about ourselves. They are as compelling as they are unsettling: a boy on the verge of manhood, growing up in rural Alabama in the fifties, falls in love with a girl and with stories; a free-spirited entrepreneurial couple go to work for Hawaiian drug lords and find out they may have stepped into a world a bit more violent than they had bargained for; a man living out his dream retirement in Miami Beach gets devastating news from his physician and determines to face his fate with grace and dignity; a young man comes home to Miami Beach to find his destitute and homeless father and discovers an old sweetheart mired in a life of addiction and prostitution; a trip to the dentist is the pretext for a woman’s examination of the marital betrayal that has left her bereft and untethered; a young financial analyst who finds himself out of work, out of love, and out of luck is haunted by the childhood abduction and murder of his brother. In other words: something for everyone.
John Dufresne has won the Yankee Magazine award for fiction, the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His novel Louisiana Power & Light was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is the author of two short story collections, The Way That Water Enters Stone and Johnny Too Bad, and the novels Love Warps the Mind a Little, also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Deep in the Shade of Paradise; Requiem, Mass; No Regrets, Coyote; and the forthcoming I Don’t Like Where This Is Going. He is one of the thirteen authors of the mystery novel Naked Came the Manatee. He wrote the screenplay for the short film “The Freezer Jesus” and, with Donald Papy, the feature film To Live and Die in Dixie, and the web series Lucky Jay with Anthony Eidse and Harper Philbin, all directed by Harper Philbin. His story “Johnny Too Bad,” which originally appeared in Triquarterly, was included in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2003.His story “The Timing of Unfelt Smiles,” which originally appeared in Miami Noir, was included in Best American Mystery Stories of 2007. His story “The Cross-Eyed Bear,” which originally appeared in Boston Noir, was selected to appear in Best American Mystery Stories of 2010. He edited the short-story anthologies Blue Christmas and Everything Is Broken. His books on writing, The Lie That Tells a Truth and Is Life Like This?, are used in many university writing programs.