Praying Drunk: Stories, Questions


Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Sarabande Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.5 X 0.6 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Kyle Minor is the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction, the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction, and the author of In Devil's Territory (Dzanc Books, 2008). He is also a three-time honoree in the annual Atlantic Monthly writing contest, and was named one of Random House's Best New Voices of 2006. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review,, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, and Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial.


"Kyle Minor wants you to know that Praying Drunk is not actually, or only, a collection. In the epigraph, he warns: "These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON'T SKIP AROUND.' Minor is right to insist. The stories may span decades as they move from Kentucky to Haiti and points between, but they work in concert to slowly reveal the landscape of an emotionally desolate quasi-America sinking under the weight of its own faith. . . . Minor writes beautifully about these ruined lives."
--New York Times Book Review

"An award-winning short fiction author offers twelve stories so ripe with realism as to suggest a roman à clef. . . . This brilliant collection unfolds around a fractured narrative of faith and friends and family, loved and lost."
--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"The collection's masterpiece, the novella "In a Distant Country," works in epistolary style through a wide array of correspondents. All are connected somehow to a troubled Baptist mission in Haiti, and their community portrait, thanks to Minor's ventriloquism, achieves tragic stature. . . . [a] grim yet terrific collection."
--Boston Globe

"Minor's book is one of the most thought-provoking, intelligently designed story collections I've seen in some time, and the discussions he starts--about life, about art, about the boundaries and limitations of genre--are ones scholars and writers alike will be discussing for quite some time, and with good reason. Equally impressively, the narratives are engaging and the sentences strikingly arranged."
--Barnes & Noble Reviews

"As a jealous and deeply insecure writer, I wish I didn't have to report that these stories are enviably brilliant. But sadly, this is the fact of the matter. Kyle Minor has elevated the short story collection for me."
--LA Review of Books

"Kyle Minor's new collection, Praying Drunk, has already made its claim for being one of the year's best books. The stories contained within it recount wrenching stories of families in turmoil, faith challenged, and nations in upheaval. Structurally inventive and equally adept at realism and the surreal, Minor's new book is a stunning work of literature."
--Vol. 1 Brooklyn

"Praying Drunk gets the whole thing down: the cosmic muck and the local glory, the big questions and the tiny lives, the bullies and the saviors, the screaming at the sky and the lights by the side of the road late at night on a long drive. I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby."
--Daniel Handler

"Watch Praying Drunk's lovely, lonely people wrestle with Minor's dark God and remember when you too tried to reason with Him and unravel His mysterious commands. These passionate tales, full of longing and daring and honesty, will disturb and inspire you."
--Deb Olin Unferth

"When the characters residing in Kyle Minor's engrossing and lively Praying Drunk find a toehold on the good life, I hope that it's autobiographical. When the characters find themselves enveloped in desperate situations, irreversible circumstances, and despair, I pray that it's solely out of the writer's imagination. These fine stories-up there with the best works of Padgett Powell, Donald Barthelme, and Robert Coover-never straddle a milquetoast fence: they're extreme in humor, extreme in sorrowfulness, and 100% individually-wrapped masterpieces. I am haunted and mesmerized by this collection."
--George Singleton, author of Stray Decorum