This month, Autumn House Press published Mark Brazaitis (1991-93) collection, Truth Poker: Stories that won its 2014 Fiction contest.
Of his stories, Mark says, “Truth Poker is a collection of 15 stories whose outcomes hinge on how characters engage with a truth (about a situation, about themselves). In a crucial moment in their lives, will they tell the truth or conceal it? What will the consequences of their decisions be?”
In the collection’s title piece, two boys play a real life version of truth poker. When a person loses a hand, he is required to answer his friend’s question. One of the boys, again the story’s main concern, has lost his mother and is living with his father. Through playing the game, he slowly finds connections between his mother’s suicide and his father’s relationship with an Ohio congressman. As it turns out, the boy’s playmate is the congressman’s nephew.
Brazaitis’ manuscript was selected by Sharon Dilworth, the author of Year of the Ginkgo, an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University and, like Brazaitis, a former Iowa Short Fiction Award winner.
The Autumn House Press award is attached to a travel and publicity grant. As he gears up to promote the book, Brazaitis is keeping his fingers crossed for an invitation to read in Hawaii. Especially now, in mid-winter. Mark is director of the creative writing program at the University of West Virginia. (And it is snowing heavily in West Virginia at this moment.)
Truth Poker: Stories
by Mark Brazaitis (1991-93)
Autumn House Press