In this searing collection of stories, people try in various ways to escape the violence and depravity of urban Scotland.
A brutalized child rescues his sister in the only way he can imagine. An alienated, drug-addicted boxer fights to live and then lives to fight. A family man slashes faces for money. Lovers, killers, the desperate and the mad search for meaning, or someone to hold, or something to eat, in some of the meanest streets ever rendered in fiction.
About the Author
Barry Graham is an author, journalist, screenwriter, poet and blogger whose dark and gritty novels have received international acclaim and whose reporting has helped more than one corrupt politician leave office. His nonfiction has been published in a diversity of magazines and newspapers, including Harper’s, Flaunt, Parabola, Las Vegas Life, The Arizona Republic and Scotland on Sunday. His blog, Illusory Flowers in an Empty Sky, contains reporting and commentary on politics, critical theory, the death penalty, urbanism, sustainability, books, films and Zen practice. He is also a Zen monk, and serves as the Abbot of The Sitting Frog Zen Center. His book of Zen teachings, Kill Your Self: Life After Ego, was published in 2011. He has witnessed two executions in Florence, Arizona, at the invitation of the prisoners. His account of that experience won a FOLIO Silver Medal in the Best Single Article category, and is included in his nonfiction book Why I Watch People Die. Barry Graham’s other books include the novels The Wrong Thing, The Book of Man (chosen by the American Library Association as one of the best books of 1995), Before, How Do You Like Your Blue-Eyed Boy? and Of Darkness and Light, the story collections Scumbo and Get Out As Early As You Can, and a poetry collection, Traffic and Murder. His stories have been published in the anthologies Phoenix Noir, Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail, Suspect Device and Intoxication. His short screenplay Holding Back the Dawn was produced in 2001. In 2009, the French magazine Transfuge named Barry Graham one of the great “post-realist” authors. Two collections of his novels and stories, Regarde Les Hommes Mourir and Les Nuits Blanches D’Edimbourg, are published in French by Treizième Note Editions.