Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff
(A Tin House New Voice)

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Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. But when his second-grade class discovers a dead body during a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. As his behavior grows increasingly erratic, and tensions arise with the school principal and the parents of his students, he faces the familiar urge to flee — a choice that forces him to confront the character weaknesses that have shattered his life again and again — and to accept the wrenching truth about the past he’s never been able to move beyond.

About Katie Arnold-Ratliff

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Katie Arnold-Ratliff: Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Katie Arnold-Ratliff received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Now on the editorial staff of O, the Oprah Magazine, where her writing appears regularly, she lives in New York.
Published May 10, 2011 by Tin House Books. 290 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Arnold-Ratliff's impressive debut explores an everyman's descent into madness, rendering his ungluing with a palette heavy in paranoia and disillusionment. Narrator Francis Mason, a young teacher in S

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Bright Before Us (A Tin House...

Star Tribune

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A misanthropic schoolteacher tumbles into despair when he and his students discover a body on a field trip. In the throes of anguish, he abandons his wife in a search for a more meaningful life.

Jun 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Bright Before Us (A Tin House...

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