Fiction. Eli was right. The act of kindness he envisioned as a lesson to his young son Mark would have serious consequences. Just not the ones he imagined. In carefully modulated prose, Curtis Smith takes us on a journey into one family's encounter with love, betrayal, and ultimately the hard-earned reward of self-discovery. When Eli, a social worker, husband, and father encounters the roiling waters beneath his conventional life, he bonds with his remarkable son in ways he never expected. But nothing is easy in LOVEPAIN, and this newfound relationship comes at a high cost. Watching his wife, Kate, descend into drug and alcohol abuse, Eli turns increasingly to Zoe, a client who gives him a sense of order and renewed purpose as he struggles with the destruction of his once-secure assumptions. As Eli's act of generosity exposes the fissure in his own life his wife's indiscretion, his own uneasy relationship with his son, and the possibilities and limits of personal relationships Smith's novel bears witness to our difficult victory over the tangled world of love, hurt, and responsibility.
Curtis Smith's stories and essays have appeared in over seventy literary journals. His work has been named on The Best American Short Stories Distinguished Stories List, The Best American Mystery Stories Distinguished Stories List, and the Notable Writing list of The Best American Spiritual Writing. His books include LOVEPAIN (Braddock Avenue Books), COMMUNION (Dock Street Press), WITNESS (sunnyoutside), and more. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and son.