Synopses & Reviews
An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.
Marine Park isn't exactly New York City, or even Brooklyn. Bounded by Gerritsen Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, Kings Highway, and the salt marshes past Avenue U, it's a place where city residents rarely set foot. Even if they wanted to, they'd need to take the subway and a bus, and walk, far beyond the more familiar neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, or Sunset Park.
In twenty-three-year-old Mark Chiusano, Marine Park finds its literary chronicler. The stories in this fierce and deeply felt new collection follow Lorris and his older brother Jamison as they emerge, gradually, into the no-mans-land of adolescence. Chiusano's dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, athletics, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. Reminiscent of Junot Díaz's Drown, Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Banks's Trailerpark, this brilliant collection announces the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction clean, beautiful, and piercing.
“The stories in Mark Chiusano's debut collection all have links to Marine Park, a part of southern Brooklyn far removed from the gentrifying hordes....Those that range more widely, either thematically or geographically — including one about a retiree who gets into trouble running a shady errand and another set in Los Alamos, N.M., during the Manhattan Project — showcase Mr. Chiusano's more formidable talents. It will be worth watching what he does when he leaves the neighborhood.” John Williams, The New York Times
“Mark Chiusano's debut collection, Marine Park, homes in on the Brooklyn neighborhood of the title, where the 23-year-old author grew up, offering sparkling and concise linked stories about coming of age hard by some salt marshes, where backyards are boat docks and ball fields are showcases.” Elle
“Absolute genius...Marine Park...has every anecdote of life in an all-American community, from family to sports to drugs....Filled with life stories we can all relate to....[Chiusano] makes it seem like you're hearing these stories from an old friend at a bar, venting about his life, his regrets and his lost dreams, over a couple of drinks. Stories that are short, entertaining and explosive. Stories that will elicit at least one, if not many, memories and experiences from your life and that makes reading Marine Park totally worth it.” The Boston Herald
“Chiusano gives a voice to the lesser-known Brooklyn neighborhood of Marine Park in his collection of interconnected stories that unearth broader truths among quotidian events, from haircuts to train rides.” The Huffington Post
“From slice-of-life tales to hair-raising thrillers to traditional relationship dramas....Chiusano's debut collection takes readers along the streets and through the history of an isolated Brooklyn neighborhood, portraying everyday people who call Marine Park home....Chiusano's impressive prose and topical range suggest the onset of a promising literary career worth keeping an eye on.” Booklist
“In clean, honed prose, Mark Chiusano gives us an intimate tour of a neighborhood of Brooklyn not offered up in fiction before. His explorations of loyalty within a family, and the breach of it, are startling and affecting — his sense of story is impeccable. Marine Park is a debut worth a reader's close attention.” Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Recipient of a 2015 PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention
Chiusano . . . has] formidable talents. It will be worth watching what he does when he leaves the neighborhood. John Williams, The New York Times
An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction
Marine Park in the far reaches of Brooklyn, train-less and tourist-free finds its literary chronicler in Mark Chiusano. Chiusano s dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, sports, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. In the tradition of Junot Diaz s Drown, Stuart Dybek s The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Banks s Trailerpark, this is a poignant and piercing collection announcing the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction."
About the Author
Mark Chiusano is a graduate of Harvard University, where he was the recipient of a Hoopes Prize for outstanding undergraduate fiction. His stories have appeared in Guernica, Narrative, Harvard Review, and online at Tin House and The Paris Review Daily. He was born and raised in Brooklyn.