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“It’s dark in here, but brilliant. Tim Johnston is as wise as he is original, and his stories are impossible to forget.”—David Sedaris Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction Inside Tim Johnston's Irish Girl, readers will find spellbinding stories of loss, absence, and the devastating effects of chance—of what happens when the unthinkable bad luck of other people, of other towns, becomes our bad luck, our town. Taut, lucid, and engrossing, provocative and dark—and often darkly funny—these stories have much to offer the lover of literary fiction as well as the reader who just loves a great story. "This is white-knuckle prose; it means what it says and it says what it means. Not that I count words, but when an image can be etched in fewer than ten, I sit up and take notice. When an image is limned in fewer than five words, I pretty near shiver. The stories in Irish Girl provide more shiver per page than most stories provide in twenty."—Janet Peery, judge and author of The River Beyond the World “Here are eight eerily beautiful stories about people moving through mixed-up, grief-soaked lives. This is terrific story-telling: stark, efficient, devastating.”—Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector “Tim Johnston's characters fight to control their destinies with an elemental ferocity, and carry us along to the kind of dramatic revelations that only the best short story writers have achieved. A brilliantly written collection.”—George Cuomo, author of Among Thieves and Trial by Water “The disturbing force in these stories emerges from Tim Johnston’s talent to write about secrets knowingly and about harm carefully. He knows that many times in our tangled stories, the most powerful player may be the missing person.” —Ron Carlson, author of The Signal “Tim Johnston is as extraordinarily facile with words as he is with the wounded, indomitable human spirit: these stories sing.”—Mark Wisniewski, author of Confessions of Polish Used Car Salesman “I tore through this excellent collection. Irish Girl carries a sinister tension and gobs of chilling scenes. All of it balanced by Johnston's hardscrabble poetry. These stories are deeply disturbing and genuinely beautiful.”—Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine TIM JOHNSTON was born in Iowa City, Iowa. When his first novel, Never So Green, was published, he was working as a carpenter in Hollywood, California. Subsequently, Tim went on to work as a carpenter in such states as Iowa, Colorado, Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, and New Mexico—his fiction, all the while, appearing in quarterlies, national magazines, and anthologies, including the O. Henry Prize Stories and David Sedaris' anthology of favorites, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules. Awarded a MacDowell Fellowship in 2008, Tim is currently back in Iowa City, writing a new novel. He is still a carpenter.
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