One of six books shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the most prestigious short story award in the world, MR. TALL, by Tony Earley (Back Bay Books/Little, Brown; August, 11, 2015; $14.99), is not to be missed. Now in paperback, MR. TALL is a collection of stories and a novella heralded as “funny, humane, deeply moving, wistful” by Kate DiCamillo and “hugely enjoyable” by the Washington Post. This collection elevates Earley to a new level of readership and reinstates him as a mythmaker and tale spinner of the first rank.
The insightful, riotous, and arresting stories included here introduce us not only to ordinary people seeking to live extraordinary lives but also to the skunk ape (a southern variant of Bigfoot), the ghost of Jesse James, and a bone-tired Jack the Giant Killer. Whether it’s Appalachia, Nashville, the Carolina coast, or a make-believe land of talking dogs, each world Earley creates is indelible.
Earley writes each word, each sentence, with care and compassion. His stories are remarkable not only for their mellifluous prose but also for their insight into the specifics of lives lived in one place, and for their intelligence, and their grace. Some of the country’s most prestigious magazines and periodicals—The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, and the Southern Review—agree with our sentiments, having printed Earley’s words time and time again.
The stories in MR. TALL—with their gentle wit and generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they expand our understanding of tenderness.
Meet the Author
TONY EARLEY is the author of the novels Jim the Boy and The Blue Star. His fiction has earned a National Magazine Award and appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Best American Short Stories. Earley was chosen for both The New Yorker’s inaugural best 20 Under 40 list of fiction writers and Granta’s 20 Best Young American Novelists. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.