Early Sobrieties

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Astra House
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
Michael Deagler's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Harper's, McSweeneys' Quarterly Concern, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City.
"A moving, comic meditation on the impossibility of imposing narrative structure on our lives -- which, despite our best efforts, tend to be baggy things, marred by loose ends, tedious repetitions and harrowing codas. [...] Early Sobrieties is such a wise and piercing book."
--Charlie Lee, The New York Times Book Review

★ "A young man surfaces from the depths of alcoholism in Deagler's pitch-perfect debut novel . . . This is a standout."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

★ "Dennis is nimble-tongued and keenly observant, and the book offers all sorts of humorous delights. Yet the reader quickly sees, too, that irony is Dennis' protective coloration, that his wit is anxious and self-preserving. [ . . . ] Wry, sharp, charming, resistant to neat closures and easy turns--a debut of enormous promise."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)

"Sharp and self-aware, with deep insight packed into no-fuss prose: a quarter-life-crisis tale for the ages."
--Bustle, "Most Anticipated Book" of Spring 2024

"Deagler's debut shines as a raw and captivating introspective journey. He blends humor, insight, and sparkling prose to explore the complexities of sobriety and self-discovery."

"[Monk] has a recovering addict's sense of the near-religious profundity of the day-to-day, the wry humor of a sober man among drunks, and a newly clear-eyed view of familiar people and places (or nearly familiar: the blackouts of his drinking days, their unknowability, haunt Monk's newfound sober ones)."
--Meghan Racklin, The Brooklyn Rail

"Grimly funny."
--Philadelphia Magazine

"South Philly is a distinct character here, its kudzu of grit, gentrification, and endless mazes of rowhouses bewildering to a soul newly emerged from the chemical haze of addiction."
--Broad Street Review

"Michael Deagler is the real deal. This novel is surprising in all the best ways. The actions of the complex and complicated people in this world are not predictable, but always, frighteningly, believable. Deagler writes with great control and understatement. This is a truly intelligent work from a clearly intelligent writer."
--Percival Everett, 2023 Windham Campbell Prize recipient and author of Dr. No

"Illuminating and moving--Deagler's debut pulls in a reader with such an inviting clarity. There's something about the honesty in this voice that creates a lot of room for the reader to connect, imagine, and feel."
--Aimee Bender, author of The Butterfly Lampshade

"A luminous and observant debut about all the strangeness of returning to the places that formed you. The prose is spectacular."
--Akil Kumarasamy, author of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea

"Emotionally raw, often jaded, but still full of wonder, Early Sobrieties is an incredibly funny and tender story. Michael Deagler does a fantastic job of bringing into relief the absurdities of being a young adult and trying to find your place in a changing world."
--Craig Finn, songwriter and frontman of The Hold Steady

"Early Sobrieties is a miracle, a debut of startling beauty, grit, and grace. Cutting into the glow of its lyricism and humor, the awesome glare of undeceived vision illuminates every page."
--Greg Jackson, author of The Dimensions of a Cave

"Funny, insightful, and, above all, well-written, Early Sobrieties is a pleasure to read. Deagler manages to tell the story of his bewildered and rudderless protagonist in a way that is not rudderless at all, but rather precise and meaningful."
--David Sanchez, author of All Day is a Long Time