From the Publisher
“In Our Burden’s Light, Patrick Thomas Casey hunts big game: sex and love, memory and loss. And-with a piercing eye for detail, an ear for rhythm, and great empathy-he grabs ample fistfuls of each. This is brave and beautiful writing."
-Josh Weil, author of The New Valley
“Evidently, Patrick Thomas Casey was somebody’s big secret until now. I just don’t know how they kept him from us. No one writes this good the first time out, do they?
Casey’s Our Burden’s Light is so much more than a promising first novel by a formidably talented writer; it is a literary achievement of the first order. Casey has breathed life into his desperate characters, and they breathed life into me. I can’t forget them. I don’t want to. Casey knows that every story is many stories, and he handles the complex intersecting tales of loss, death, and unspeakable secrets with intelligence, grace, and lyricism.”
-John Dufresne, author of Requiem, Mass.
“From the opening paragraph of Our Burden’s Light, I knew I was reading a writer of extraordinary talent. Patrick Thomas Casey is an exciting new voice in American fiction, and this striking debut should gain him a wide and appreciative audience.”
-Ron Rash, author of Serena
Casey's debut novel reads like a novella winding through short stories linked not so much by characters and narrative, but by themes of grief. In the overarching story, Shenandoah Valley developer Robert Shelley tries to hold his family together after his teenage son, Grant, is found murdered in the woods. While the teenage killer, Hayden Clyde, and Evelyn Warren, Grant's ex-girlfriend turned Hayden's new girlfriend, grapple with the magnitude of their actions, Robert sinks his teeth deeper into the knowledge that neither he nor his son is an innocent victim. Though the short story–like chapters about people losing one another often feel out of joint with the central narrative, readers who enjoy that specifically Southern breed of dark, lush literature will savor this book's sinuous sentences and their tendency to switch back, hone in, and trace the border regions of life and death. (Apr.)