Winner of the 2005 Drue Heinz Literature Prize
Between Camelots is about the struggle to forge relationships and the spaces that are left when that effort falls short. In the title story, a man at a backyard barbecue waits for a blind date who never shows up. He meets a stranger who advises him to give up the fight; to walk away from intimacy altogether and stop getting hurt. The wisdom—or foolhardiness—of that approach is at the heart of each of these stories. In “I’ll Be Home,” a young man who has converted to Judaism goes home for Christmas in Miami, and finds that his desire to connect to his parents conflicts with his need to move on. “The Movements of the Body” introduces us to a woman who believes that she can control the disintegration of her life through a carefully measured balance of whiskey and mouthwash. These are stories about loss and fear, but also about the courage that drives us all to continue to reach out to the people around us.
About the Author
David Harris Ebenbach’s short fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines including Denver Quarterly, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Crazyhorse. His poetry has appeared in Phoebe, Stickman Review, and Arbutus, among other publications..
Table of Contents<p. vii, no folio, p. viii, cont'd or blank> Contents Misdirections 000 Rue Rachel 000 Between Camelots 000 The Movements of the Body 000 Bridesmaid 000 Nothing Ever Happens in White America 000 Fighting 000 Social Games 000 Pointing Up 000 Getting Back onto Solid Foods 000 Rebbetzin 000 Searching the Reef in the Off-Season 000 Orange 000 Out in the Open 000 I'll Be Home 000 Acknowledgments 000
What People are Saying About This
In these stories, David Harris Ebenbach creates a world so carefully observed and nuanced that each moment seems capable of changing everything.
These stories of searching young Americans are intimate and sharply detailed, sometimes hopeful, often sad, with just a taste of the strange. Between Camelots is about the scars of first losses, and the need to carry on. David Harris Ebenbach is always in full command, leading the reader moment by moment through his/her people's dis- and missed connections, ultimately leaving us alone with them at the quiet end of the night.
David Ebenbach writes with the easy grace of a longtime practitioner. His prose is delicately balanced, neither too full and labored, nor too thin and unsatisfying. The stories, right from the lovely short gem 'Misdirections' that opens the collection, are immensely skillful, touching, stocked with curious and engaging characters who go about their lives as if we were not watching. This is a great achievement and only one of the remarkable pleasures of Between Camelots, a stunning first collection.
In Between Camelots, David Ebenbach fearlessly treads onto the terrain of American loneliness with clear-eyed precision and perfect pitch. Whether they're about one-night stands or newly shattered hearts, struggling young marriages or two gay men simply trying to connect, these are stories that, above all, tell the truth. They are rendered with an honesty and a compassion that can make you sit up and gasp.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good friend who never leads me astray when it comes to good books recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad he did. I love the very short stories in this book. I loved reading them in between the less short stories. They feel very unlabored and they work. I love how the stories tell the funny little things that happen inside peoples' heads while they're connecting or disconnecting with someone or someplace, or the idea of someone or someplace. How physically intimate people can be and yet make no real connection at all. Being deprived of what you are used to, and trying to get used to the way things have or have not become. Many, though not all of the stories deal with life's disappointments, and at the same time they are infused with a reassuring sense of humor that make them a pleasure to read. I savored every page.
This is a soulful collection of short stories whose characters we meet during moments of impotence, awakening and sometimes triumph. We also meet them in a collection of stories that are potent - short works that accomplish a great deal in few pages. Thumbs up!