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Distributed for Acre Books

Grace for Grace


1st Edition

Grace for Grace brings celebrated cult filmmaker Steve De Jarnatt’s distinctive voice and cinematic vision to the page. Lush inner lives, idiosyncratic syntax, and sweeping scale characterize these wildly imaginative stories, which present characters in search of meaning and belonging, and often, at the same time, redemption and revenge.
“Rubiaux Rising” (a Best American Short Stories selection) is a tale of triumph amid calamity during Hurricane Katrina, while “Her Great Blue” a surreal interspecies love story. “Mulligan” reveals the private pain of parents traveling across the country to give away their children, and “Wraiths in a Swelter” is both a ghost story and a confessional memoir—following a deliriously exhausted EMT through a deadly Chicago heat wave.
Many of the stories in Grace for Grace are set against the backdrop of natural or manmade catastrophes. These disasters test the characters’ limits as they confront sudden changes and extremes, discovering through their unexpected resourcefulness and endurance something beyond suffering. . . something that approaches the sublime.

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2


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"A feast for the language-lover and a workout for the thrill-minded, Steve De Jarnatt’s short fiction takes us to extremes in these eleven astonishing stories. Exquisite, raw and absolutely unique."

Janet Fitch, author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral

“The expansive, antic mind behind the stories in Grace for Grace is a formidable literary force. This collection is so fresh and imaginative and marvelously strange—so good—it will leave an indelible impression on its readers, of which Steve De Jarnatt deserves legions.”

Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men

"Now a master of the short-story form, De Jarnatt's prose crackles with wild energy. The stories in Grace for Grace are packed with mythic wonder, humor and tragedy of the highest order, and indelible characters desperately searching to save and be saved. This book is vibrant and provocative, designed to shake the intellect and emotions—I didn't realize how asleep I was until I read these stories, and I'm thankful to be awakened by De Jarnatt and his amazing collection."

Alan Heathcock, author of Volt and 40

“Those of us who revere Steve De Jarnatt’s work as a filmmaker have long understood him to be a master at subverting—and perverting—audience expectations, but nothing prepared me for the stories in Grace for Grace. Working in a grain that might be termed ‘American psychedelic sublime’—De Jarnatt’s stories are cousin to Barry Hannah’s, Donald Barthelme’s, to Charles Portis even—which is to say they resemble nothing so much as themselves. In their syntax, in their feeling, and in their untrammeled imagination they are thrilling and electrical, and absolutely, wildly alive.”

Matthew Specktor, author of 'American Dream Machine' and 'That Summertime Sound'

"Its stories united by themes of finding a home, Grace for Grace is poetic and avante garde. Steve De Jarnatt’s short story collection pairs imaginative literary language with flawed characters in obscure situations. . . . Grace for Grace is a varied, ornate short story collection that navigates the inner lives and outer experiences of characters whose origins are outside of what’s ordinary."

Foreword Reviews

“De Jarnatt showcases his exquisite imagination with a collection of short stories that are filled with eclectic characters who confront life’s challenges in its many forms. . . . This collection will have you savoring De Jarnatt’s colorful prose and his ability to combine both humor and poignant observation. As many of these stories feature characters dealing with some kind of disaster, they seem eerily timely as well.”

Danielle Bauter | Orange County Register

“'Rubiaux Rising' is the shortest piece here and one of the most powerful. Compressed details deliver a visceral jolt in Steve De Jarnatt’s narrative about an Iraq veteran, addicted to painkillers since he lost an arm and a leg to an IED, who has been locked in an attic by his mother to detox when Katrina strikes. It’s the first story the author ever submitted for publication, one of the discoveries that makes this series so valuable."

Kirkus review of Best American Short Stories, 2009

"Evident from the first sentence of each of the stories in his debut collection Grace for an exuberant love of language and a wonderfully musical ear.  Likewise in evidence in De Jarnatt’s stories are an unwavering curiosity and an unappeasable hunger for the innumerable varieties of human experience.  Each story offers up something extraordinary for the reader."

The National Book Review

 “De Jarnatt puts forth a collection of short stories. . . each written with a filmmaker’s eye for expansive dramatic structure and the signal-shifting image: the hopeful horizon after an imperiled night, the crash of lightning/thunder after a mad scientist’s reveal.”

Hindsight Magazine

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