Another Perfect Catastrophe

and Other Stories

Brad Barkley

Thomas Dunne Books

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In the spirit of Tobias Wolff and Richard Ford, these ten chilling, deeply felt stories from acclaimed author Brad Barkley explore the complexity of male friendships and marital relationships.

Among the stories is "The Way It's Lasted," in which Billy deals with his crumbling marriage and a visit from his father, who may or may not have cancer and who is desperate to see the reconstruction of Noah's Ark at a nearby church. "Beneath the Deep, Slow Motion" introduces us to Bosco and Ray, two drifters who scheme about murdering a neighbor and stealing his diamond collection so that they can afford to pay doctors to save Bosco from an untimely death. Nelson's mother, Myra, in "Mistletoe," has Lou Gehrig's disease, and he struggles with her request for help in killing herself before the disease does. The title story brings us to Reed, who feels reluctant to leave his childhood friend Sugar---who was crippled in a logging accident ten years ago---when Reed's much younger girlfriend, Lyndsey, pressures him to move on.

In these stories and others, Barkley's prose---and his ability to create a palpable sense of time and place and mood---bring his characters vividly to life. Through these honestly crafted and carefully executed tales of people who find themselves banging their heads against their reduced circumstances, Barkley restores our faith in human beings' ability to endure the ravages of time with decency and humor. With his touching and critically praised novel Alison's Automotive Repair Manual, Barkley established himself as a writer to watch, and in Another Perfect Catastrophe, he proves to be at the height of his powers.

"Underline this writer as one whose work needs to be on your shelf. You will be much the better for it." ---Mississippi Clarion-Ledger

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Reviews

Praise for Another Perfect Catastrophe

"As pungent and acrid as burning rubber, managing against the odds to pull us into an unpleasant world of speechless despair." -Kirkus Reviews

“Heart surgeons and marriage counselors alike could learn from Brad Barkley’s Another Perfect Catastrophe. These stories run through readers’ veins like a special elixir meant to repair what troubles us most: those curious and ineffable quandaries between woman and men. Funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately honest, Barkley has widened the already-bright beam from his previous works.” -George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie

“Exactly the kind of short story writer the world needs. Barkley writes with grace and wit, determined to rescue his characters and us, his readers, as well. These stories make redemption feel not only hoped for, but essential.” —Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal
“Beautifully crafted...Rich, compelling characters.” -Susan Perabo, author of Who I Was Supposed To Be
“These are living, breathing people in these winning stories, not simply characters dropped in to fulfill an author’s whim. Brad Barkley is a real writer, working with true skill, not to see how clever he can be, but to fin out what’s out there, what’s to be discovered. Another Perfect Catastrophe is an outstanding collection of honest, and moving stories.” —Pete Fromm, author of As Cool As I Am and Night Swimming
“[This book] broke my heart in the way that I want stories to do. What an affecting writer this Brad Barkley is!” -Lewis Nordan, author of Boy With a Loaded Gun

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About the Author

Brad Barkley

Brad Barkley, a native of North Carolina, is the author of the novels, Money, Love, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Book Sense 76 choice, and Alison's Automotive Repair Manual, also a Booksense 76 pick. Money, Love was named one of the best books of 2000 by the Washington Post and Library Journal. Barkley was named as one of the "Newcomers of 2002: Breakthrough Writers You Need to Know" by Book magazine. He is also the author of a previous story collection, Circle View. His short fiction has appeared in more than two dozen magazines, including the Southern Review, the Georgia Review, Oxford American, the Greensboro Review, Glimmer Train, Book magazine, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, which has twice awarded him the Emily Balch Prize for Best Fiction. His work was anthologized in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2002 and again in 2003. Another Perfect Catastrophe is latest book. He has won four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Brad Barkley teaches creative writing at Frostburg State University. He lives in western Maryland with his wife, Mary, and two children.

Brad Barkley

Brad Barkley

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Available Formats and Book Details

Another Perfect Catastrophe
and Other Stories
Brad Barkley

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
March 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466839359
ISBN10: 146683935X
192 pages
$7.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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