By Brad Watson

Finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction: "Watson's expertise is singular, really amazing; [his tales] are infused with an uncanny beauty."—A. M. HomesIn this, his first number of tales when you consider 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 indicate a few celestial concord, he writes approximately all types of family discord: unruly or far away young children, alienated spouses, family abuse, loneliness, loss of life, divorce. In his masterful name novella, a freshly married teenaged couple are visited by way of 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 absolute confidence approximately it. Brad Watson writes so well—with such an all-seeing, six-dimensional view of human hopes, inadequacies, and infrequent grace—that he needs to be an extraterrestrial.

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Sample text

She braced her hands against his shoulders and pushed, trying to get the leverage to increase the force of his thrusts. He growled a warning and pushed her hard against the tree. She snarled in his ear, but before she could bite, he shifted. His hands snaked down between them and spread her thighs even wider. He hooked his elbows behind her knees and pressed her legs up and back, and she felt his next thrust in the back of her throat. God, he felt incredible inside her. Hot and thick and hard and so perfect her head spun with it.

When she’d been a child, all the way up through her teenaged years, Honor had longed to please her demanding father. She’d done everything she could to get his attention. She’d tried being the obedient daughter, but he barely noticed. Then she’d tried being the top student in her classes, but that failed as well. Nothing had made any impact on Ethan Tate, not when she excelled and not when she rebelled. Nothing had seemed to make any difference to him until she’d begun to move up in the pack. Her first challenge had been more of a lark than anything intentional.

But before she could get the words out, he’d been gone, leaving her with a mass of problems and no conceivable way out of them. Lucky her. When she’d been a child, all the way up through her teenaged years, Honor had longed to please her demanding father. She’d done everything she could to get his attention. She’d tried being the obedient daughter, but he barely noticed. Then she’d tried being the top student in her classes, but that failed as well. Nothing had made any impact on Ethan Tate, not when she excelled and not when she rebelled.

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