Synopses & Reviews
If You Were with Me Everything Would Be All Right, by award-winning author Ken Harvey, is a collection of thirteen stories, ten of which have been published in nationally distributed literary magazines. Although most of the stories deal with the lives of gay men, much of their spark comes from the mixing of gay and straight worlds. Harvey's compassionate eye was noted by the judges of the Willa Cather Prize when they explained why they named his collection a finalist in their competition. Wrote the judges, "Great humanity...humor and tragedy....some extremely original, compelling writing... This is really good writing in all regards. Some stories are truly remarkable. ... I couldn't put it down".
Many of the stories take place in and around the Boston area as well as in Lynn, on the Massachusetts North Shore. While the stories deal with serious issues, it is the blend of wit and darkness that makes these stories unique. In the title story, a gay couple discovers a postcard with a mysterious message in a used bookstore that sheds light on their own relationship; in "So This Is Pain", a woman escapes the grief of her marriage by traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico; in "The Near Occasion", a gay son tries to find his father who fled the family years earlier; in "Mother Country", the three parents of a child - two lovers and the biological mother - escape to Spain to forget the child's death; in "Mr. Bubble, I Love You", the young son of a therapist develops a crush on one of her patients, with hilarious yet moving results.
There are no villains in Harvey's stories, just flawed people trying to lead the best lives they can. Along with the potholes of the road they travel are many moments ofgreat humor and some optimism, like life itself.
Fiction. With humor and grace, Ken Harvey dissects the connective tissue between friends and lovers, parents and children. He knows the precise spot where joy and sorrow meet in the walls and chambers of the human heart. He knows how the ending of one story can be a bridge to the next. And he writes like an angel. This is a wonderful debut -- Mameve Medwed. Ken Harvey's work has been published in over fifteen literary magazines. He is the recipient of an Artists Fellowship in Fiction from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation.