Fire Year

Jason K Friedman (Author) Salvatore Scribona (Introduction by)

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Sarabande Books
Publish Date
November 05, 2013
5.2 X 0.7 X 7.6 inches | 0.5 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Jason K. Friedman was born in Savannah, GA, earned a BA from Yale, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies including Best American Gay Fiction and the cultural-studies reader Goth: Undead Subculture. He has published two children's books, including the thriller Phantom Trucker. He was runner-up in the Associated Writing Programs Award Series in the Novel, and he won the Karma Foundation-Moment Magazine Short Fiction Prize for "Blue," the first story in Fire Year. Jason works as a technical writer in San Francisco, where he lives with his husband, filmmaker Jeffrey Friedman, and their dog, Lefty.


"These seven funny, fearless outsiders' tales set in Savannah and Atlanta--sometimes depicting bygone orthodox Jewish communities, others the rife-with-irony "New South"--gravitate toward taboo. One preoccupation of Friedman's Mary McCarthy Prize-winning debut collection is the breakdown of traditional mores, but its standouts specifically tackle pent-up sexual desire.... Strengthened by the diversity in subject matter, the through-line of sexual coming-of-age and temptation gives this volume a satisfying coherence."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Loneliness predictably attends these people on the fringes, yet sometimes Mr. Friedman craftily reverses the polarity of acceptance and rejection. . . . There can also be loneliness in inclusion, Mr. Friedman suggests, when it resembles exploitation."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Friedman has assembled a memorable posse of misfits in his debut collection. . . . Friedman works in that same O'Connor-Welty tradition, and in light of 2013's Nobel Prize going to short story writer Munro in recognition of a life's opus, I am thrilled for this new voice to join the genre with Fire Year."
--The LA Review of Books

"Friedman's adept first story collection, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize, evokes several weighty themes--religion, sexuality, coming-of-age--while remaining grounded in the everyday culture and communities of its characters, many of whom find themselves on the outside looking in. . . . In a collection that marks its own territory, Friedman's seven tales offer a compelling exploration into shifting social norms."

"The seven stories in Jason K. Friedman's rich, funny and finally very moving debut all feature characters who feel like transplants in a strange land, even though often enough it's a land to which they were born."

"Friedman writes with an air of post-modern irony yet remains fully sympathetic to the characters who people his stories as they fumble toward irresolution.... In this Isaac Bashevis Singer-like take on the Jewish experience in the American South, with humor set against despair, Friedman writes with a gift for language, employing words and phrases quietly. The characters are real and diamond-sharp, but observing from the outside, always through the lens of Jewish culture, oft times amplified by sexual identity."
--ForeWord Reviews

"Candid, cunning, brave, and wickedly funny--Jason K. Friedman's Fire Year will make you remember the first time you read Philip Roth. Love, lust, religious tradition, the new South, the transcendent promise of faith, the liberating hope of sexual awakening--he twists all of them together here in stories as true to our goofy joys as to our deepest intuitions."
--Salvatore Scibona