Posted By trish on April 6, 2013
• Paperback: 188 pages
• Publisher: Engine Books (April 16, 2013)
With this beautiful and haunting collection, novelist Gregory Spatz joins the short list of truly great practitioners of the art of short fiction. These are narrative gems that will pull you in and won’t let go.
The eight stories in Half as Happy reveal with startling clarity their characters’ secrets, losses, and desires. Each with the depth of a novel, these insightful portraits of the darkness and light within us reverberate long after they’ve ended, like beautiful and disturbing dreams.
A grieving couple rents a desperate landlord’s house in an effort to recover lost intimacy. Twins are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control. A nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath forge human connections no one could have anticipated.
Fresh on the heels of his acclaimed novel Inukshuk from Bellevue Literary Press, Spatz has been praised by Publishers Weekly for “his emotional honesty and resonance.”
Praise for Half as Happy
“Spatz (Inukshuk) writes like a dream, and he is perfectly at home with the focus on the self, the search for a personal truth, and other tropes of contemporary literary fiction.” —Publishers Weekly boxed review
“These stories will mend readers’ hearts even as they break them, and that is what makes them so wonderful and rare.” —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Tinkers
“These stories are both funny and sad, in the true and inescapable way of real life, full of elegiac beauty. A masterful collection.” —Brad Watson, author of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
“Gregory Spatz’s searching, complex stories linger with bell-like clarity.” —Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
“These are beautifully-wrought, haunting stories. Spatz is a marvelous writer, with a keen eye for the secrets of the human heart.” —Dan Chaon, author of Stay Awake
Born in New York City, Gregory Spatz holds degrees from Haverford College, University of New Hampshire, and The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He now lives in Spokane, Washington, where he teaches in the MFA program at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, Eastern Washington University. Spatz spent his youth in New England, mostly in the Berkshires.
He is the author of novels Inukshuk, Fiddler’s Dream, and No One But Us, as well as a short story collection, Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, and New England Review, among others, and he has published numerous book and music reviews for The Oxford American. He is the recipient of a 2012 NEA Literature Fellowship.
Gregory’s Tour Stops
Monday, April 15th: Bibliophiliac
Wednesday, April 17th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, April 18th: Short and Sweet Reviews
Monday, April 22nd: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, April 29th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 30th: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, May 1st: 50 Books Project
Thursday, May 2nd: she treads softly
Monday, May 6th: The Mookse and the Gripes
TBD: In the Next Room