A collection of info on my collection of short stories, published by University of Massachusetts Press, November 30, 2013:
Winner of the Grace Paley Prize 2012
Info on the book, Everyone Here Has a Gun, including listing and blurbs from UMASS Press.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Mentions and Reviews:
Michael Czyzniejewski on the story "There Isn't Any Ghost" for his Story 366 Project: "What I’ll say is this: 'There Isn’t Any Ghost' switches from a ghost story to a very realistic horror story. I love that about it, and love the story overall. It’s fresh, surprising, and—reading this alone, in my home, at night—terrifying … Maybe every story in this book truly has a gun—it would be fitting—and as far as I can tell, Southworth is saying that a whole lot of good it’ll do these people, as trouble rarely comes in the form of something you can shoot, something you can be ready to shoot. Or maybe I’m just turning this post into a gun post after all. Either way, I loved and was creeped out by his ghost story, and can’t wait to see what this talented voice does next."
Robert Glick for the Pleiades Book Review: Lucas Southworth’s excellent short story collection, Everyone Here Has a Gun, winner of the 2012 Grade Paley Prize in Short Fiction, appeals to a dialectic of dismemberment and recombination to explore the possibility of displacing and defusing acts of violence."
The Mid-American Review: "Southworth’s choice to utilize a variety of narrative styles, including fairy tale, folk tale, episodic, and traditional linear forms, is brilliant. It heightens the tension while at times serves as an escape valve. Everyone Here Has a Gun aims directly at the reader with precision and beauty, and embeds itself into the brain, where it lingers long after the book is closed."
The Colorado Review, (The Center of Literary Publishing): "Southworth creates surprising characters and unique narrative structures that stimulate intense thought and emotion. Everyone Here Has a Gun is a short story collection crafted in a new way, with at least one story for every different kind of reader."
Playlist for Everyone Here Has a Gun on Ploughshares' blog: "The stories are tense, gritty, and dark, full of sons raised to kill fathers and boys nailing chipmunks to walls. These characters hover at the edge of disaster. They exist in the unsettling shadows between innocence and violence."
Winter Crush #30: Origami Zoo Press: "Southworth's fiction seems to have absorbed all the tropes we find in pop culture, particularly in film, particularly in horror movies, chewed them up and spit them back out in new, compelling forms -- it takes all our anxieties about living in the contemporary world and makes them into ghost stories and fairy tales."
"Everyone Here Has a Gun took me on a roller coaster ride that I'd never been on before....Every piece is strikingly different, and yet there's also a cohesion to the collection that plunged me deeply into this writer's alien yet weirdly familiar world, as if I'd been dreaming someone else's dream. There are images and moments in each of these stories that have lodges into my brain like shrapnel. A truly unique and memorable reading experience.
--Dan Chaon, Grace Paley Prize judge and author of Stay Awake and Await Your Reply
"Lucas Southworth in his deep-dish, deadpan debut collection, Everyone Here Has a Gun, turns us on to a spinning world where something is always off. Oh, it all seems normal enough and quite matter-of-fact at the start. But then the stories turn and turn -- twisted, worsted -- the matter, in fact, gone dark and all anti-. Watch it and watch out! Of course the characters are weaponized along with the shape-charged plotting and the brilliant tracing rounds of language, illuminating the negative capability of suddenly stunning up-armored porcelain prose."
--Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter and Michael Martone
"I once took pistol lessons with the author Joy Williams, and our instructor told us that each person on earth has an individual attacker. Lucas Southworth is one I've been waiting for all these years -- like that of your attacker, his brutal vision is aimed right at you in these phenomenal tales."
--Kate Bernheimer, author of Horse, Flower, Bird
"Lucas Southworth's impressive debut collection is at once haunting and funny. There is a tender creature at work here who produces in these stories a feeling of menace impossible to locate or shake. Southworth offers no comforting haven, no buy-out, no lie. He renders sensation with indelible precision and keeps his people bravely alive to the world -- its dark pleasures and vivifying dangers."
--Noy Holland, author of Swim for the Little One First