By Brad Watson
Finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction: "Watson's expertise is singular, actually remarkable; [his tales] are infused with an uncanny beauty."—A. M. HomesIn this, his first selection of tales given that his celebrated, award-winning Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson takes us even deeper into the riotous, appalling, and mournful oddity of human beings.
In prose so completely pitched as to signify a few celestial concord, he writes approximately all types of family discord: unruly or far away kids, alienated spouses, household abuse, loneliness, demise, divorce. In his masterful name novella, a freshly married teenaged couple are visited through an strange pair of inmates from a close-by insane asylum—and discover precisely how mismatched they truly are.
With beautiful tenderness, Watson relates the brutality of either nature and human nature. There's no doubt approximately it. Brad Watson writes so well—with such an all-seeing, six-dimensional view of human hopes, inadequacies, and infrequent grace—that he has to be an extraterrestrial.
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Additional resources for Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories
The detectives had a rap sheet on my father and cited back to her his prior arrests: vandalism and trespassing, mementos from his salad days in SDS; thirty unpaid speeding or parking tickets; possession of an unregistered derringer; fencing hot stereo equipment and VCRs; battery on a Hare Krishna at the Orange Bowl during half-time of a Dolphins game. She squeezed some lemon-scented Ajax onto her palm and soaped her hands and wrists. For a moment I had a strange sensation that I had absolutely no idea who she was.
There are malignant floaters, diseased tissue, growing inside my chest wall now,” she whispered. “I’m sorry,” I said dully, and felt stupid after I said it. That’s how you know if you’re going to survive. I felt worn out from the strain of whispering. ” She had an unfocused look in her eyes, as if the room were spinning and she was ready to pass out. ” “I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way,” she said contritely, as if she were speaking for him. It’s not the end of the world. He looked like a greeter in a casino.
He looked like a greeter in a casino. ” She yawned then, pointing her garish toenails. They were married by an uncle of his, a judge in Orlando, when she’d first started to show, and she followed him back to Durham for his senior year and law school. She said it was their contention that wealthy people didn’t teach in public schools, and she gave in to them without a fight. Tomorrow was my day to open the deli. Her look was inflamed. ” “I don’t mind walking,” I said. ” she said. When I couldn’t think of a plausible excuse to give them for my being there to see her, I fled, dumping the flowers at the nurses’ station on her floor and devouring the chocolates myself, later that night, alone.
Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories by Brad Watson