“Brown’s comic take on America today is both amazing and memorable … One of the most brilliant and original new writers to appear for a long time. ” (Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)
“Everything Natalie said seemed, to herself, to have been said better by him. He was less fond of speaking, however, than he was of hitting people in the face, which seemed a more likely source of her love to those of us who knew him, ” begins Jason Brown’s linked collection of beautifully haunted, violent, and wry stories set in the densely forested lands of northern New England.
In these tales of forbidden love, runaway children, patrimony, alcohol, class, inheritance, and survival, Brown’s elegant prose emits both quiet despair and a poignant sense of hope and redemption. These vivid accounts of troubled lives combine the powerful family drama of Andre Dubus and Russell Banks, the dark wit of Denis Johnson, the lost souls of Charles D’Ambrosio, and the New England gothic of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
“One quality that makes these stories feel unmistakably new is Brown’s … seamless, oddly cinematic shifts among points of view … He has a gift for crisp, angular sentences, some of which are embedded with a quiet humor. ” —Time Out New York
“In Jason Brown’s fine story collection … the inhabitants of Vaughn, Maine, are stalked not by Stephen King horror but by intimate afflictions of blood, accident, and history. Yet their stories are too vivid to be entirely bleak. Maine’s woods and rivers, its changing light, are the beautifully rendered constants in a harsh, even malevolent, world. ” —The Boston Globe