Robert Garner McBrearty has authored two previous collections, A Night at the Y and Episode, winner of the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award. In this third collection, published by Conundrum Press, McBrearty continues to prove himself a master storyteller.
His stories tend to be about isolated people hacking it out, doing their best to feel upbeat about things, reinventing themselves if necessary, clutching onto imaginative possibilities. The urgrund of McBrearty’s fictive world is invariably the absurd: a primordial principle of chaos—the anomalous, the bizarre—governing the nature of the human lot, often originating from without, but sometimes from within. Out of his rich sense of the absurd, McBrearty creates a comic vision that swings between two poles: the zany, outrageous, and the more subtle, sometimes darkly comic.