Little Reef and Other Stories
“Truly bracing in its border-crossing and the wide sweep of spaces it explores, Little Reef and Other Stories is an unblinkered, wide-vista escape from New York–Los Angeles parochialism.”
Little Reef and Other Stories announces the arrival of an original voice in literature. From Key West to Maine, Michael Carroll’s debut collection of stories depicts the lives of characters who are no longer provincial but are not yet cosmopolitan. These women and their gay male friends are “B-listers” of a new, ironic, media-soaked culture. They live in a rich but increasingly divided America, a weirdly paradoxical country increasingly accepting of gay marriage but still marked by prejudice, religious strictures, and swaths of poverty and hopelessness. Carroll shows us people stunned by the shock of the now, who have forgotten their pasts and can’t envision a future.
Michael Carroll is a writer whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Ontario Review, Southwest Review, The Yale Review, Open City, and Animal Shelter. He lives in New York.
“An unsettling, compulsively readable, sometimes darkly funny first collection of short stories by a writer who brings to his characters—gay, straight or ambiguous—an unsparing moral vision and an eye for telling detail.”
—Mark Doty, The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide
“These stories, keenly—even cruelly—observant, occupy the verges of love and death where the truest and most recklessly aware emotions abide. Romantic yet bitterly insightful, this is a solid, smart collection.”
—Joy Williams, author of Honored Guest
“A riveting collection. Casually confessional with the mea culpa banished, Little Reef and Other Stories makes new the much explored terrain of New York City and makes the reader feel disturbingly comfortable in unfamiliar places. Here, the dreams of the people conflict with life’s unexpected demands and watchfulness replaces restlessness.”
—Ann Beattie, author of The New Yorker Stories
“The dialogue is pitch-perfect. Little Reef and Other Stories will, of course, appeal to gay readers, but it will also appeal to people who like good writing, or who have a need to read fiction which is set in that dream-space between New York and more traditional American spaces, or in that hazy area between a self in the making and a self already formed.”
—Colm Tóibín, author of The Testament of Mary
“Mr. Carroll's world is a little vicious, slippery in its sexuality, discontinuous, fracturing—strangely reminiscent of the hootier, hard-candy end of the Tennessee Williams spectrum. It is flat-out odd, fun, and seeming true.”
—Padgett Powell, author of You & Me
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