This Is Not a Love Song

This Is Not a Love Song

by Brendan Mathews

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Overview

A debut collection of moving and darkly witty stories from an "admirably fearless" (New York Times Book Review) writer whom critics have compared to Michael Chabon, E.L. Doctorow, and Dennis Lehane


A Massachusetts Book Award "Must Read" Selection


When marriages, friendships, and families come undone, to what lengths do we go to keep it all together? That question lies at the heart of Brendan Mathews's buoyant and unforgettable debut story collection. A young mother watches as her desperate husband, convinced a hidden poison lurks inside their walls, tears their home apart. Two journalists bruised by romance and revolution, one a survivor of the Bosnian war, trade tales of lost lovers. A father and his sons haggle over the family business during a high-stakes round of golf. And a lovesick circus clown tries to explain the accidents that bound him to a trapeze artist and a witless lion tamer.


If Mathews's novel The World of Tomorrow was an "outsized" entertainment, a "big, expressive debut" (Wall Street Journal), then This Is Not a Love Song, two stories from which have been included in The Best American Short Stories, is glorious proof that he excels equally as a miniaturist. From rock-star flameouts to church burnings to ordinary people trying not to fall out of love, these stories are packed with vivid detail, emotional precision, and deft, redemptive humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316382144
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,282,108
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Brendan Mathews, a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, has published stories in Glimmer Train, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Cincinnati Review, among other publications, and his fiction has twice appeared in The Best American Short Stories. He lives with his wife and four children in Lenox, Massachusetts, and teaches at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

Table of Contents

Heroes of the Revolution 3

This Is Not a Love Song 35

Airborne 59

How Long Does the First Part Last? 81

Dunn & Sons 89

Look at Everything 109

The Drive 139

Henry and His Brother 145

Salvage 159

My Last Attempt to Explain to You What Happened with the Lion Tamer 187

What People are Saying About This

National Book Award finalist and author of The Book of Aron - Jim Shepard

“The emotional exiles of This Is Not a Love Song are as fierce in their desire to love as they are afraid that they’re not built for it. Brendan Mathews is wonderful on how visceral and messy our longing for each other can be, as well as on the complexities of class, and worlds as varied as Sarajevo and the circus. These are funny and wrenching stories.”

Customer Reviews