By Brad Watson

Finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction: "Watson's expertise is singular, actually outstanding; [his tales] are infused with an uncanny beauty."—A. M. HomesIn this, his first choice of tales due to the fact his celebrated, award-winning Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson takes us even deeper into the riotous, appalling, and mournful oddity of human beings.

In prose so completely pitched as to signify a few celestial concord, he writes approximately all kinds of household discord: unruly or far away kids, alienated spouses, family abuse, loneliness, loss of life, divorce. In his masterful identify novella, a freshly married teenaged couple are visited by means of an strange pair of inmates from a close-by insane asylum—and discover precisely how mismatched they honestly are.

With beautiful tenderness, Watson relates the brutality of either nature and human nature. There's no doubt approximately it. Brad Watson writes so well—with such an all-seeing, six-dimensional view of human hopes, inadequacies, and infrequent grace—that he has to be an extraterrestrial.

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Extra info for Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories

Example text

Top raised his eyebrows, said: "Sure. Anyway, we'll be there. " He slipped around the corner again. " said Vivian. "Sure, I guess. " "It's not the same. " "Good question. It's unclear, though. I'd have to admit they're maybe dates. But only maybe. " "Vivian Relf. Totally unfamiliar. I'm Doran Close. " Doran felt irritable, reluctant to let go of it, possibly humiliated, in need of a drink. " It gave him a queasy, earth-shifty sensation. As though he'd come through the door of the party wrong, on the wrong foot.

No door. Just wall. Where I came in. No door. No tricks. No fucking door. When I turned to Wei, unable to believe what my eyes and fingers swore was true, I knew my physical superiority counted for nothing. " Wei watched me like a lecher in a strip bar. Fear choked me so I had to shout, What did you do to the door? Louder. What did you do to the door? Wei ran my seppuku knife between her nose and lip. But I was gripping the flute case. No. It lay open on Wei's lap. " Wei pricked her tongue with the point.

Doran saw the familiar girl there, just inside. He squinted and smiled, to offer evidence he wasn't gawking. To convey what he felt: he recognized her. She blinked at him, and parted her mouth slightly, then nipped her lower lip. Top and Evie and Miranda pushed inside the kitchen, fighting their way to the drinks surely waiting on a counter or in the refrigerator, but Doran hung back. He pointed a finger at the familiar girl, and moved nearer to her. She turned from her friends. The foyer was lit with strings of red plastic chili peppers.

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Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories by Brad Watson
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