With his brothers Donald and Frederick, Steven has made the Barthelme name synonymous with some of the best short-fiction writing of our time. With Frederick, Steven co-authored the brilliant and devastating casino memoir, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss.
Now, in his long-awaited second collection of stories, Steven seems to cast an eye at his own history and the characters he's known, making Hush Hush an unmissable, arresting account - simultaneously twisted, heartbreaking and hilarious - of learning to quit while you're ahead.
He exposes the surprising dignity in lying on your belly in the pouring rain, in ringing your ex-girlfriend's doorbell at 4am, in sleeping with your dead wife's best friend. If you're $16,000 up at the casino and missing dinner with the woman you love, how do you find the strength to drive away? If you give up your career and your beautiful wife and find yourself drinking vodka and repairing cars for a living, is that necessarily a step down?
These are the stories of men and women who are down - but not yet quite out.
"Starred Review. With great humor and insight, he explores the psyche of desperate people striving to connect, with others and with themselves." - Publishers Weekly
"Barthelme has a sure voice and a respect for the narrative arc as it reveals itself. These stories are relatively short, but they always end at just the right place." - Library Journal
"This collection of linked short stories is honest, insightful and often painfully funny, the characters mucking about in the dirt, covering their hands and clothes and matting their hair, but never losing their humanity." - Flavorwire
"Bathleme and his brothers are a literary clan worth following. Plus, this is one of the few noteworthy short story collections that we've come across this year." - Huffington Post
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