Ryan Harty has recently wowed me with his prize-winning collection: Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona
Each of the eight stories deals with sadness in indelible forms. One of my favorites in the collection centers around a husband and wife and their robot son who seems to be coming apart. The ways in which each family member handles the boy's breakdown mirror survival techniques of people dealing with illness: The wife distances herself; the husband tries to fix the situation; and the son tries to hide his problems.
In another story, a brother cleans the apartment of his dead, mentally ill sister and sweeps all of her cats out onto the street, except one.
The last story, September, is a gorgeous account of one young man's first love: the mother of one of his friends.
I highly recommend this SSC!
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.