There are a dozen ways the American Dream can go awry in this “unrepeatable … tour de force” of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author (The Washington Post Book World).
“[With] touches of Italo Calvino, Roald Dahl, and Gabriel García Márquez” the Pulitzer Prize and National Magazine Award–winning author dazzles with his mastery of the short story and his ability to find humor and humanity in the extremes of the American way (San Francisco Chronicle).
Using tabloid headlines for inspiration—among them, “Boy Born with Tattoo of Elvis, ” “Woman Struck by Car Turns into Nymphomaniac, ” and “Titanic Victim Speaks Through Waterbed”—Butler moves from the fantastic to the realistic, and from the lurid to the transcendent, as he explores exile, loss, aspiration, and the search for self. Along the way, we meet a wife who uses her glass eye to spy on her cheating husband; a widow who sets herself on fire after losing a baking competition; a nine-year-old hit man; a woman who dates an extraterrestrial she met at Walmart; and a furtive and mournful JFK who survived the assassination.
“Butler peels back the sleazy veneer of the sensational to expose characters who long for love and the healing comfort of human compassion” —USA Today
“Read all about it: if you’re frustrated by the way nothing much seems to happen in modern short fiction, you’ll find Tabloid Dreams a whole different story. ” —The New York Times Book Review
“These stories are masterpieces. ” —South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Tabloid Dreams is full-blown American magical realism. ” —Boston Review