Settright Road

Jon Boilard (Author)


Settright Road is a collection of 20 short stories and one longer piece of fiction, all set in and around a string of busted Massachusetts mill towns during the cocaine-fueled 1980s.

Its pages are colored by unforgettable characters: a teenage lothario whose plans to escape his one-horse town by hopping a train to California are monkey-wrenched when he impregnates a local girl from a prominent family; fresh-out-of-prison Sean Folan, who nearly kills a man in a bar fight just so he'll get locked up again; underage Bill Buick, who sells dope to hard-up townies and seduces high school girls, when he's not driving a wedge between his aunt and her new boyfriend; and Eskimo -- trouble in a too-tight dress -- a dancer and a poet whose unsavory relationship with a strip club owner comes to a tragic end when she falls in love with a notorious backwoods brawler.

Jon Boilard lets loose these conflicted characters against a backdrop of the abject poverty that sits in stark contrast to the lush New England scenery; then he challenges us to root for these desperados despite the weight of their human errors.

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Dzanc Books
Publish Date
January 10, 2017
5.4 X 0.5 X 8.4 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, Jon Boilard has been living in Northern California since 1986. He is the author of two novels: The Castaway Lounge (Dzanc Books, 2015), and A River Closely Watched (MacAdam Cage, 2012), which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. His short stories have been published in literary journals in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He lives in San Francisco, CA.


"Like Ray Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Jon Boilard's Settright Road is a cohesive collection of stories about working class life that delivers an impact similar to a novel when read as a whole. Set mostly in dying mill towns in Western Massachusetts in the eighties, these sometimes interrelated stories, composed in taut yet often lush and lyrical sentences, present characters teetering on the edge of ruin and sometimes death."
--Western Mass

"Boilard writes like a predator. His stories grab you by the throat in the first sentence and you have to keep reading out of self-defense."
--The Recorder

"An unflinching, uncompromising, Inferno-esque tour of the economic underbelly of Massachusetts.... Disturbing, despairing, heartbreaking, and hauntingly beautiful."
--Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock

"When you think rural noir, you might not think New England. But Settright Road proves you should. Boilard's tight, haunting collection about struggle and decline in crumbling mill towns is a must-read for fans of the genre--or anyone who enjoys stories that stick with you long after you've read them."
--Rob Hart, author of South Village

"It takes a mix of courage and vulnerability to write beautiful, truthful stories in which we lay bare our characters and our very selves. Boilard is a brave, honest, and open storyteller. He writes from his heart and we are fortunate witnesses."
--Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him