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Catalog Archive / Spring 2024

Camera Lake

Camera Lake is such a powerful read. Pickett writes relevant, risk-tinged fiction that’s deft with humor and heart. These stories are fresh in form and content—and they will grip you with their fully imagined characters, these flawed Americans who have made the beds they lie in with open eyes.”
—Alyson Hagy, author of Scribe

Unspoken dreams, haphazard choices, and the risks of vulnerability

Fleeing her family, a woman finds unexpected solace in an empty hotel. Following a shattering professional failure, a therapist becomes convinced someone is watching his every move. A coach’s disciplinary tactic doesn’t so much backfire as it implodes his players’ lives. Inhabiting a (mostly) midwestern landscape, Alex Pickett’s characters specialize in breaking rules. Believing themselves to be good people, they try to bend their situations to fit their needs or fulfill their desires. The results are rarely completely disastrous or successful, but are tinged with a humor that rides comfortably alongside embarrassment, regret, and longing—and in the process remind us that it is achingly hard to live up to expectations.


Alex Pickett author photo, photo credit Elena Gorfinkel. Alex Pickett is a Wisconsin-born writer based in London and the author of The Restaurant Inspector. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, including The Southern Review, Subtropics, Passages North, and Green Mountains Review.

Alex Pickett's Website -




“It’s not often I devour an entire book of stories in one night, but I couldn’t get enough of these. Camera Lake is the rare collection that is both hilarious and heartfelt, both literary and approachable. The reason for this is simple: Pickett truly loves his characters—their quirks, their loneliness, their smiles—and this makes all the difference. In a world full of depressing headlines, these stories made me happy. This is stellar stuff. A debut worth calling your friends about!”
—M. O. Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of My Sunshine Away and The Big Door Prize

“If the Coen Brothers had adapted a collection of Raymond Carver stories into a funny and disquieting film, I imagine it would feel a lot like reading Alex Pickett’s Camera Lake. This is a book you see in your head as much as you read it. The characters instantly spring off the page as they attempt to navigate myriad disappointments, tragedies, mistakes, and even the occasional minor triumph. I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind.”
—Steven Hyden, author of the bestselling Twilight Of The Gods and There Was Nothing You Could Do



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Table of Contents

At the Twin Pines Motel
Camera Lake
Glass Monkey
Perfect Nonsense
Ankle Grabber
Scorch the Earth beneath Your Feet
The Vow


Of Related Interest


The Restaurant Inspector
Alex Pickett

The Blondes of Wisconsin: Cover showing the side of an old brick building with blue and yellow letters painted on it.

The Blondes of Wisconsin
Anthony Bukoski

Camera Lake: cover depicting a small island full of trees and a giant camera. A hand stretches towards the island. The image is drawn in stark blue and orange, the subtlest hint of green in the trees. The title text is written in bold white font, partially obscured by the clouds over the island.

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July 2024
200 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $17.95
ISBN 9780299349141
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