Watemark Books & Cafe will host author Josh Barkan for an author talk and signing of Mexico on Monday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m.
The unforgettable characters in Josh Barkan's astonishing and beautiful story collection chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same. A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter's freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper's car. Again and again, the walls between ordinary life and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.
These are stories about transformation and danger, passionand heartbreak, terror and triumph. They are funny, deeply moving, and stunningly well-crafted, and they tap into the most universal and enduring human experiences: love even in the face of danger and loss, the struggle to grow and keepfaith amidst hardship and conflict, and the pursuit of authenticity and courage over apathy and oppression. Withunflinchinghonesty and exquisitetenderness, Josh Barkan masterfully introduces us to characters that arefull of life, marking the arrival of a new and essential voice in American fiction.
JOSH BARKAN has won the Lightship International Short Story Prize and been a finalist for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, the Paterson Fiction Prize, and the Juniper Prize for Fiction. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his writing has appeared in Esquire. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has taught writing at Harvard, Boston University, and New York University. With his wife, a painter from Mexico, he divides his time between Mexico City and Roanoke, Virginia.