Desert Gothic

Desert Gothic

4.11 (76 ratings by Goodreads)
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This powerful debut collection, set in the light-filled deserts of Nevada and Arizona, introduces a darkly inventive new voice. Like an early Richard Ford, Don Waters writes with skill, empathy, and an edgy wit of worlds not often celebrated in contemporary literature. In "Desert Gothic", Waters unleashes a wild and gritty cast and points them down paths of reckoning, where the characters earn the grace of their hard-won wisdom. Set in bars, mortuaries, nursing homes, truck stops, and the "poverty motels that encircled downtown's casino corridor," Waters' ten stories are full of misfit transients like Julian, a crematorium worker who decorates abandoned urns to create a "lush underground island," and the instant Mormon missionary Eli, a hapless divorce who "always likes people better when they're a little broken." Limo drivers, ultra-marathoners, vagabonds, and a distraught novelist-to-be populate the pages of these gritty stories. 2007 Iowa short fiction awardshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 137.16 x 228.6 x 15.24mm | 158.76g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • First.
  • 1587296241
  • 9781587296246
  • 1,835,913

Review quote

"Don Waters writes with an uncompromising eye about the slyly grim yet fascinating journeys of characters who long ago decided they ve had enough of second chances. They hold on at the sunburnt edges of Nevada and Arizona, somewhere just beyond the madness of tract home boomtowns and senior citizen communities merely waiting rooms for death, out there just barely still in range of the tinny noise of casinos. In Waters s splendid stories, these are the last places left where they can grip, fast, to the persevering essences of humanity"-Douglas Unger, author, "Leaving the Land" and "Looking for War and Other Stories""show more

About Don Waters

Don Waters was born and raised in Reno, Nevada, and now lives in Berkeley, California. He's received numerous honors for his writing, including fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Jentel Foundation, as well as the McGinnis-Ritchie Award from the Southwest Review. His stories have been published in such venues as Epoch, StoryQuarterly, the Kenyon Review, the Southwest Review, the Santa Monica Review, ZYZZYVA, the Cimarron Review, and more

Rating details

76 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 38% (29)
4 39% (30)
3 18% (14)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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