New from Down & Out Books …
MONDAY’S MEAL by Les Edgerton
Publication Date: April 23, 2018
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Synopsis … The stories in this collection represent a range in topics and styles and feature a wide assortment of individuals who, although diverse, all have in common a singular element—trouble in their lives. That’s what fiction is about—trouble—and short stories have a particular mandate to be about the frailty of the human condition as well as its strength.
The author has an affinity for the disenfranchised among us and it is those often heroic people that interest him the most. In these stories he treats them with the sensitivity and dignity they deserve.
Praise for MONDAY’S MEAL:
“The sad wives, passive or violent husbands, parolees, alcoholics and other failures in Les Edgerton’s short-story collection are pretty miserable people. And yet misery does have its uses. Raymond Carver elevated the mournful complaints of the disenfranchised in his work, and Edgerton makes an admirable attempt to do the same.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Reading Les Edgerton’s stories is like listening to those old World War II broadcasts from the London blitz, with the reporter crouching under a restaurant table, microphone in hand, while the bombs drop on the city and the ceiling caves in. Edgerton reports on the world and the news is not good. There’s a kind of wacky wisdom in these bulletins from the underside of life; the stories are full of people you hope never move in next door, for whom ordinary life is an impossible dream. This is good fiction; Edgerton writes lean and nasty prose.” —Dr. Francois Camoin, Director, Graduate School of English, University of Utah
“Edgerton’s best stories are uncompromising in their casual amorality. They stare you down over the barrel of a gun, rip you up whether or not the trigger gets squeezed.” —Diane Lefer, Creative Writing Instructor in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts
“When it comes to short stories, Americans rule the roost. Flannery O’ Connor, Raymond Carver, Stephen King, Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, Richard Ford, Kyle Minor. And you can add Les Edgerton to that list. Monday’s Meal contains twenty-one tales of dirt realism, sharp slices of American life. Edgerton has a strong and sure grasp of the lives of people who are standing on the edge of a precipice.” —Paul Brazill, author of Too Many Crooks and The Last Laugh
“Filled to bursting with writing you can taste. Whether dining on bisque and blackened redfish at an upscale cafe, or eating rank mule meat in a pine board cabin, the characters in Edgerton’s world bite down hard and grind up one another with their back teeth. Monday’s Meal is a most satisfyingly vivid and visceral feast.” —Melody Henion Stevenson, author of The Life Stone of Singing Bird
“This collection of 21 unsettling stories will appeal to readers looking for nontraditional contemporary plots with characters living on the fringes of society. Several selections will haunt readers for some time as events often take a morbid twist; others will leave them wondering about the endings.”—School Library Journal