Young Americans abroad in Central Asia find themselves pushed to their limits in these acclaimed, prize-winning stories by one of our most exciting and talented new authors. Combining bleak humor, ironic insight, deep compassion, and unflinching moral and ethical inquiry, Tom Bissell gives us a gripping collection that is both timeless and profoundly relevant to today’s complex world.
About the Author
Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea (available in paperback from Vintage Books) and contributes to Harper’s Magazine, The Believer, and other publications. He lives in New York.
“Mercilessly, masterfully nails its target. . . . Astonishing. . . . A discipline of craft and sensitivity to place that do for Central Asia what Paul Bowles did for North Africa.”
–The Chicago Tribune
“[Bissell's] wit and dry-eyed compassion are on ample display, along with a precocious capacity for invention that would put most golden codgers to shame. . . . These stories are one more proof of a stunning and prodigious talent.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Terrific. . . . Scabrously funny. . . . Dazzling. . . . 'A'.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Bissell has a keen awareness of human loneliness — what O’Connor defined as the mark of great short story writers. . . . [He] reveals himself to be not only a subtle craftsman but also a mordant observer of a new generation lost in a complex and dangerous world.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Gobsmackingly great . . . Bissell traverses the landscape of modern war, and he does it with the tough bluntness and literary assurance of a young Hemingway.” –Outside
“Razor-sharp, blackly comic. . . . Bissell always avoids easy cynicism, dotting each bleak plot twist with big-hearted detail and pitch-perfect humor. This is fiction full of friction . . . [and] it's a thrill to watch the sparks fly.” –Newsweek