"These stories are both funny and sad, in the true and inescapable way of real life, full of elegiac beauty. A masterful collection."Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury
A grieving couple rents a desperate landlord's house in an effort to recover lost intimacy. Twins are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control. A nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath forge human connections no one could have anticipated.
The eight stories in Half as Happy reveal with startling clarity their characters' secrets, losses, and desires. Each with the depth of a novel, these insightful portraits of the darkness and light within us reverberate long after they've ended, like beautiful and disturbing dreams.
We were not bad kids. We'd never stolen candy bars, tormented insects or smaller children, drowned cats. Our worst crime the previous summer: breaking into the Cassidys' back yard to float in their pool on a moonlit night and imagine one or all of the pretty young sisters who lived there coming out to join us, or leaning from the windows of the upper story bedrooms with their hair down and the straps of their nightgowns falling away.
Gregory Spatz is the author of Inukshuk (Bellevue Literary Press), Fiddler's Dream, No One But Us, and Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines, and he has published numerous book and music reviews in The Oxford American. He is the winner of a 2012 NEA Literature Fellowship.
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About the Author
Born in New York City, Gregory Spatz holds degrees from Haverford College, University of New Hampshire, and The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He now lives in Spokane, Washington, where he teaches in the MFA program at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, Eastern Washington University. Spatz spent his youth in New England, mostly in the Berkshires.
He is the author of novels Inukshuk (Bellevue Literary Press, June 2012), Fiddler's Dream (SMU Press 2006), and No One But Us, (Algonquin 1995) as well as a short story collection, Wonderful Tricks (Mid-List Press 2002). His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines, and he has published numerous book and music reviews for The Oxford American. He is the winner of a 2012 NEA Literature Fellowship.
What People are Saying About This
These stories generate the quiet thrills of necessity. Being as they are 'ruled equally by the infinitesimal and the grand,' they resemble our own lives, reflect back to us those human circumstances in which we recognize ourselves, our own better and worse impulses, our own greater and lesser dreams. These stories will mend readers' hearts even as they break them and that is what makes them so wonderful and rare."
Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Tinkers.
"These are beautifully-wrought, haunting stories. Spatz is a marvelous writer, with a keen eye for the secrets of the human heart."
Dan Chaon, author of Stay Awake
"Gregory Spatz's stories search out the extraordinary complications of human relationships with great intelligence and unexpected finesse, and their resonance lingers with bell-like clarity."
Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard