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!