I'm excited by any book that follows gay characters from Key West to Maine but especially one blurbed so highly by Colm Tóibín, Ann Beattie, Joy Williams, and Tim Miller: Michael Carroll's debut Little Reef and Other Stories [and Kindle] pubbed earlier this week and the University of Wisconsin Press says it heralds
"...the arrival of an original voice in literature. From Key West to Maine, Michael Carroll’s debut collection of stories depicts the lives of characters who are no longer provincial but are not yet cosmopolitan. These women and their gay male friends are “B-listers” of a new, ironic, media-soaked culture. They live in a rich but increasingly divided America, a weirdly paradoxical country increasingly accepting of gay marriage but still marked by prejudice, religious strictures, and swaths of poverty and hopelessness. Carroll shows us people stunned by the shock of the now, who have forgotten their pasts and can’t envision a future."
Colm Tóibín: “The dialogue is pitch-perfect. Little Reef and Other Stories will, of course,
Joy Williams: “These stories, keenly—even cruelly—observant, occupy the verges of love and death where the truest and most recklessly aware emotions abide. Romantic yet bitterly insightful, this is a solid, smart collection.”
Ann Beattie: “A riveting collection. Casually confessional with the mea culpa banished, Little Reef and Other Stories makes new the much explored terrain of New York City and makes the reader feel disturbingly comfortable in unfamiliar places. Here, the dreams of the people conflict with life’s unexpected demands and watchfulness replaces restlessness.”
Tim Miller: “Truly bracing in its border-crossing and the wide sweep of spaces it explores, Little Reef and Other Stories is an unblinkered, wide-vista escape from New York–Los Angeles parochialism.”