Summer Reading B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Q&A | July 20, 2015

    Jesse Ball: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Jesse Ball

    Describe your latest book. I woke up one day from a sort of daydream with an idea for a book's structure, and for the thread of that book, one... Continue »
    1. $16.80 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      A Cure for Suicide

      Jesse Ball 9781101870129


This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.

Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

This title in other editions

Curled in the Bed of Love (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)

Curled in the Bed of Love (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To read Curled in the Bed of Love is to feel the incessant tug between devotion and desire that can unmake even the closest couple. These eleven stories are set in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in true Left Coast style, Catherine Brady's characters are as resolute in evading middle-class conformity as they are in clinging to their illusions about love. And while they never shy from paying their dues, they can't help but wonder sometimes if their choices have at last accrued too high a cost. What lies in the bed of love, with women and men curled sometimes in repose, sometimes in a defensive knot, are failed dreams, reproofs, ambitions, and stubborn beliefs.

Always, mortality threatens the lovers' embrace. In the title story, Jim and his HIV-positive partner contend with an illness that has fueled their love but also threatens to consume it. In some stories, an outsider exposes the frailty of a relationship. Claire, who's opted for a steady marriage in "The Loss of Green," is both stirred and repelled by the advances of her former mate Sam, a radical environmentalist with a predatory need to reassert his claim on her. And in "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord," Debbie, compelled to translate a brief affair with her cousin's fiancé into a profound transgression, comes clean on a sleazy national talk show.

All of Brady's stories are gritty and unflinching in their gaze, yet lyrical and rich in the imagery of stasis and change--an empty house too long on the market, a pair of kayakers riding out a patch of rough sea, a greenhouse in which the orchid blooms only suggest the darting vitality of butterflies and birds. There is much to learn in these tales of flawed but good people working hard to hold their lives together.


Eleven stories set in the San Francisco Bay Area map the incessant tug between devotion and desire that can unmake even the closest couple.

About the Author

"How does she do it? Brady's range is dazzling. . . . Her stories, unflaggingly compassionate, delve into the complexities of identity and connection."--Toni Graham, author of The Daiquiri Girls
"These compelling, intimate stories illumine the lives of people who are old enough to know themselvestheir joys and weaknesses, their private passionsand who yet often surprise themselves when they discover what they cannot give up. A beautiful and poignant collection."--Lan Samantha Chang, author of Hunger: A Novella and Stories
"An achingly lovely collection about the ache of love. Catherine Brady is a thrilling young fictional voice."--Robert Olen Butler, author of Mr. Spaceman
"Brady's stories wrap all the old questions in new packaging: live, crisp prose and characters who genuinely seem to feel. The plots may be familiar, but the sensibility is refreshingly different."--Kirkus Reviews
"It's rare for a writer to explore with such subtlety and respect the curious sumbiosis of the needy and the needed as Brady does."--Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
"Compelling and illuminating short stories that reveal private passions, the human tendency to cling to the familiar and the razor's edge on which so many relationships are balanced. Brady shows a broad range, while retaining a simple, yet strong and clear voice. She is a writer to watch."--San Jose Mercury News
"Brady is a meticulous writer. Every word seems carefully chosen in order to trace the fine contours of her characters' subtle and complex desires. . . . The grace of Brady's writing is only enhanced by the dialogue between the characters. At times it is surprisingly snappy. Surprising, perhaps, because their internal lives are described with such care, their desires and inner struggles mapped so astutely."--Rebecca Tuch, Women's Review of Books
"Brady's stories wrap all the old questions in new packaging: live crisp prose and characters who genuinely feel."--Kirkus Reviews

Table of Contents


The Loss of Green


Nothing to Hide

Honor Among Thieves

Curled in the Bed of Love

Light, Air, Water

Side by Side

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Roam the Wilderness

Written in Stone

Behold the Handmaid of the Lord

Product Details

University of Georgia Press
Brady, Catherine
Short Stories (single author)
San francisco bay area (calif.)
Love stories, American
San Francisco Bay Area
Stories (single author)
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
Series Volume:
[v. 4]
Publication Date:
8 x 5.25 x 0.6 in 0.45 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Curled in the Bed of Love (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 216 pages University of Georgia Press - English 9780820325453 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Eleven stories set in the San Francisco Bay Area map the incessant tug between devotion and desire that can unmake even the closest couple.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at