Synopses & Reviews
A farmer perishing under a fallen tractor makes a last stab at philosophizing: “There was nothing dead that was ever beautiful.” It is a sentiment belied not only by the strange beauty in his story but also in the rough lives and deaths, small and large, that fill these haunting tales. Pulp-fiction grim and gritty but with the rhythm and resonance of classic folklore, these stories take place in a world of shadowy figures and childhood fears, in a countryside peopled by witches and skinflints, by men and women mercilessly unforgiving of one anothers trespasses, and in nights prowled by wolves and scrutinized by an “agonized and lamenting” moon. Ervin D. Krauses characters pontificate in saloons, condemning the morals of others as they slowly get sloshed; they have affairs in old cars on winter nights; they traffic in gossip, terrorize their neighbors, steal, hunt, and spy.
This collection includes award-winning stories like “The Snake” and “The Quick and the Dead” as well as the previously unpublished “Anniversary,” which stirred a national controversy when it was censored by the University of Nebraska and barred from appearing in Prairie Schooner. Krauses portrayal of the matter-of-fact cruelty and hopeful fragility of humanity is a critical addition to the canon of twentieth-century American literature.
“Josh Rolnick’s extraordinary stories suggest the author suffers from a strange anatomical condition: he clearly has a heart that’s even larger than his oversized, electrified brain.”—Nic Brown, author, Doubles
“Josh Rolnick is a wonderful observer and a beautiful storyteller. Each story in Pulp and Paper is a path to the hearts of Rolnick’s characters, who, like you and me, strive to be their true, honest selves despite follies and weaknesses. A truly compassionate collection.”—Yiyun Li
"Krause's portrayal of the matter-of-fact cruelty and hopeful fragility of humanity is a critical addition to the canon of 20th-century American literature."—Nebraska Magazine
“Although there is not a single ghoul or specter to be found in the fiction of Ervin Krause, these sad, troubling stories will haunt you. He anatomized every part of us: our wicked wishes, our shameful fears, and our tragic desires.”—Owen King, author of Double Feature: A Novel
“Krause is a brilliant and important writer without a book. His death at an early age cut short what surely would have been an important literary career. . . . You Will Never See Any God
is both an act of rescue and a critical consideration of a body of work.”—Hilda Raz, author of What Happens
and former editor of Prairie Schooner
“I glanced out the window as my train pulled into the station and saw the girl who killed my son.” So begins Josh Rolnick’s powerful debut collection of eight stories, which utilizes a richly focused narrative style accenting the unavoidable tragedies of life while revealing the grace and dignity with which people learn to deal with them. The stories—four set in New Jersey and four in New York—span the wide geographic tapestry of the area and demonstrate the interconnectedness of both the neighboring states and the residents who inhabit them.
About the Author
’s short stories have won the Arts & Letters
Fiction Prize and the Florida Review
Editor’s Choice Prize. They have also been published in Harvard Review
, Western Humanities Review
, Bellingham Review
, and Gulf Coast
, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. A reporter, editor, and journal publisher, he grew up in New Jersey, spent summers camping his way through Upstate New York, and has lived in Jerusalem, London, Philadelphia, Iowa City, Washington, D.C., and Menlo Park, California. He currently lives with his wife and three sons in Akron, Ohio.