Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Among these eight stories, a fan of writer (and fellow adoptee) Harold Brodkey gains an audience with him at his life's end, two pals take a Joycean sojourn, a man whose business is naming things meets a woman who may not be what she seems, and a father discovers his son is a suspect in an assassination attempt on the president. In each tale, Michael Coffey's exquisite attention to character underlies the brutally honest perspectives of his disenchanted fathers, damaged sons, and orphans left feeling perpetually disconnected.

Michael Coffey is the author of three books of poems and 27 Men Out, a book about baseball's perfect games. He also co-edited The Irish in America, a book about Irish immigration to America, which was a companion volume to a PBS documentary series. He divides his time between Manhattan and Bolton Landing, New York.  

The Business of Naming Things is his first work of fiction.

Read an excerpt HERE.

The Story Behind The Business of Naming Things

Know Thyself: PW Talks with Michael Coffey

Praise for the book:
“Riveting. . . . Coffey brilliantly examines the efforts of a mother to cope with her son’s death in ‘Moon Over Quabbin’; he uses the J.F.K. assassination as a backdrop to a tale about a sinful priest in ‘Inn of the Nations’; and, in ‘Sons,’ he explores a difficult father-son relationship in the context of a possible Obama assassination attempt. . . . Vibrant and unsparing.” ~Publishers Weekly

“Superb. . . . Startlingly original and at times darkly funny. . . . [Coffey’s] characters are as flawed and complicated as they are recognizable and sympathetic; all fiction readers can enjoy.” ~Library Journal

“Well-crafted stories, thick with literary references. . . . Carefully chiseled. . . Sober and smart writing that evokes the more mannered American stylists of the 1960s and ’70s.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“Once I started reading these stories, I couldn’t stop. They absorbed me thoroughly, with their taut narratives and evocative language—the language of a poet. The matter of identity looms over them, giving them a kind of brooding and breeding presence, one that animates the past, makes it not only real, but more than real. Michael Coffey has reached deep into his own past here, but that reality has been magically transformed, transmogrified, as the work of fiction does its job. Coffey is a fine, witty, and vibrant writer. I recommend The Business of Naming Things with gratitude to the author.”~Jay Parini, author of The Last Station 

“Sherwood Anderson would recognize this world of lonely, longing characters, whose surface lives Coffey tenderly plumbs. These beautiful stories—spare, rich, wise and compelling—go to the heart.” ~Frederic Titen, author of Self Portraits: Fictions

“Michael Coffey brings us so close to his subjects it is almost embarrassing. Whether he’s writing about a sinning priest or a man who’s made a career out of branding or about himself, we can smell Coffey’s protagonists and feel their breath on our cheek. Like Chekhov, he must be a notebook writer; how else to explain the strange quirks and the perfect but unaccountable details that animate these intimate portraits?” ~Edmund White, author of Inside a Pearl

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