From the prizewinning novelist and world-renowned short-story writer, the author of 2008's universally acclaimed novel "Peace "("A brilliant one-act drama depicting the futility and moral complexity of combat" --"The New York Times")," " eleven indelible new tales that showcase the electrifying artistry of a master.
A husband confronts the power of youth and the inexorable truths of old age. A son sits by his mother's bedside determined to give her what she needs in her final days, even though doing so means breaking his own heart. A brief adulterous tryst illuminates the fragility of our most intimate relations. A young man returns in the face of crisis to the parents he once rejected. A divorced young woman dealing with slowly increasing despair develops an obsesion about a note that fell from the pocket of a man who came to eat in the cafe where she works. A wife whose husband has been shot must weather a terrible snowstorm with her two sons, as well as a storm of doubt about the extent of his involvement in a crime.
Richard Bausch's stories contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of daily life in these times, the uncertainty of knowledge and truth, the gulfs between friends and lovers, the frailty of even the most abiding love--while underlining throughout the persistence of love, the obdurate forces that connect us. His consummate skill, penetrating wit, and unfailing emotional generosity are on glorious display in this fine new collection.
"Dark, brutally exact, nearly perfect stories. . . . Something Is Out There shows a writer at the very top of his form. . . . So emotionally insightful, so masterful in subtle manipulation of plot and theme that the sheer beauty of the stories' construction will move you almost as much as what happens in them."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Evocative. . . . Indelible. . . .Concentrated works of tremendous resonance. . . . One can imagine a writer of Bausch's sensitivity as the psyche's seismologist, taking the measure of every fault, stress, shift, tremor and collision, and reminding us that stability and love are often as much a matter of choice as of fate, a perpetual work-in-progress, a hard-won and forever besieged state of grace."
--Los Angeles Times
"Nineteen books into his career, Bausch seems determined to keep witnessing an array of human sorrows with compassion. . . . Again and again, he excavates the darkest corners of his characters' lives without giving in to despair."
--The New York Times
"Bausch's work is most powerful in its depictions of ordinary life, not simply its quiet desperation but also its profoundly delicate beauty. . . . Again and again, Bausch asks the reader to believe in the possibility of happiness, in the small, abiding comforts to be found in our relationships despite their suffocating imperfections. . . . There's not another American writer out there right now more adept at revealing the happiness that's always waiting for us, just beyond our reach."
--The Boston Globe
"Expertly wrought. . . . Capturing his subjects at turning points and emotional reversals, Bausch shakes us out of any sense of complacency. His stories feel urgently true. . . . A few of these pieces, including the sensational title story, are masterfully plotted nail-biters. But what Bausch gets most terrifyingly right is that all states of being are precarious--delirious happiness, jealousy, despair, regret--poised on the verge of disintegration, transfiguration."
--The Cleveland Plain-Dealer
"Brilliant. . . . Bausch's characters' histories and personalities are depicted so artfully you can't help but feel for them."
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"If you aren't a fan of Richard Bausch's fiction you should be. . . . One of the joys of reading Bausch is his Faulknarian sense that despite all the sadness, the tsoris, the turmoil of the people in these stories, one feels they will, to borrow a word from the master, 'endure.' . . . This is the work of an excellent writer at the top of his form."
--The Washington Times
"Bausch's stories throb with painful truth. . . . [He] sets out the facts and descriptions about his working class characters with an almost agonizing clarity, leaving the reader to draw conclusions, make morals. . . . These stories deserve a close read."