Eternal Night at the Nature Museum


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Sarabande Books
Publish Date
5.43 X 8.43 X 0.87 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Tyler Barton is a literary advocate and cofounder of Fear No Lit, home of the Submerging Writer Fellowship. His fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Subtropics, and elsewhere. He's earned honors from Kenyon Review, The Chicago Review of Books, Pheobe Journal, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction 2020 and Best Small Fictions 2020. His collection of flash fiction, The Quiet Part Loud, was published by Split Lip Press in 2019. He lives in Lancaster, PA. Find him at or @goftyler.


Eternal Night at the Nature Museum is a collection packed with stories that cut to the heart of living in contemporary America. In each story, Barton draws out empathy and imagination. A debut that is both gritty and hopeful.
--18 Books from Small Presses You'll Love, Buzfeed

Barton impresses with his fresh voice and vibrant imagination.
--Publishers Weekly

Funny, surprising, and disarmingly poignant stories that can appear laissez faire but are in fact, very finely crafted.
--Kirkus Reviews

Tyler Barton sticks the landing, in every story, every time. With each piece, we're left in the great suspension of what might come next. What wild, bold possibility. Always, a new question. A trunk, opening.
--T Kira Māhealani Madden for Electric Lit, Recommended Reading

Barton grounds surreal elements in settings that feel unequivocally real, which is perhaps what makes them so vibrant and believable. At the core of his ability to craft rich settings exists his distinctive style and command of detail--those seemingly small, specific inclusions that carry significant weight, impacting mood, atmosphere, and character. At the sentence level, Barton writes with precision and care. He possesses an eye for oddities, for the uncanny details that populate our lives.
--Craft Literary online, Art of the Opening: Tyler Barton

A writhing portraiture of the losers, outcasts, and hourly workers across the ever-still landscape of small dusty towns in America.
--Independent Review, online

"Startling, gritty, wistful, lonely, quick, sharp, hopeful, hopeful, hopeful. Yes, this is what you want to read."
--Daniel Handler, author of Bottle Grove

"In these terrific stories, I hear echoes of Chekhov (clear-eyed humility), Barthelme (wackiness that breaks your heart), and Cheever (American bewilderment). Mostly, though, what I hear is the voice of a winning and graceful young writer with a gift for narrative and an instinctive feel for the American landscape in all its tilted, hopeless, hopeful splendor and misery."
--David Leavitt, author of Shelter in Place

"Raucous, laugh out loud funny, explosively imaginative, every story in Eternal Night at the Nature Museum brims with heart. Barton's prose shines with earth quaking sonics, sentences with teeth, and characters to love, revere, and always remember. This collection is an instant favorite, a wild ride from which I never wanted to depart."
--T. Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Eternal Night at the Nature Museum is a dizzying, brilliant collection, carried by Tyler Barton's hypnotic ability to pull narratives into the strangest places, grounded by his genuine love and empathy for his characters, no matter how broken they might seem. There is such a precision in his writing, to let the wildness bend and twist the narrative without ever losing the heart of what makes these stories so special. To borrow from Barton's own work, these are 'painfully beautiful' stories, and I could not love them more."
--Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

"A gem of a collection; fresh and special, full of heart. Fans of George Saunders and Gary Lutz will find a familiar."
--Amelia Gray, author of Isadora

"The twenty-one stories in Tyler Barton's extraordinary Eternal Night at the Nature Museum take the reader on a drift through in-between places populated by people in search of more permanent homes. In busted cars and hotel elevators, underground shelters and single-wide trailers, museums and assisted living facilities, churches and stages, these idiosyncratic and aggrieved weirdos, lovably disgruntled, seek sanctuary and try to succeed at impossible tasks. They want to help (or be helped) but don't know how (or how to ask). The humor and humanity with which Barton depicts his characters' plights is nothing short of a delight, and his cracked wit shines on every page."
--Kathleen Rooney, author of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk