Byzantium by Ben Stroud
Stories

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This is an exciting and essential collection, unlike anything in recent memory, and a decidedly impressive debut.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Winner of the Bakeless Prize for Fiction, an imaginative debut that ranges from Havana to Berlin
* A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year * One of Publishers Weekly's "Best Summer Books"*
Ancient cities and fallen empires come to life in this masterful collection. In the Byzantine court, a noble with a crippled hand is called upon to ensure that a holy man poses no threat to the throne. On an island in Lake Michigan, a religious community crumbles after an ardent convert digs a little too deep. And the black detective Jackson Hieronymus Burke rises to fame and falls from favor in two stories that recount his origins in Havana and the height of his success in Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany. Ben Stroud's historical reimaginings twist together with contemporary stories to reveal startling truths about human nature across the centuries. In his able hands, Byzantium makes us believe that these are accounts we haven't heard yet. As the chronicler of Burke's exploits muses, "After all, where does history exist, except in our imagination? Does that make it any less true?"

 

About Ben Stroud

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Ben Stroud’s work has appeared in One Story, Boston Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. He received an MFA and PhD from the University of Michigan, and has held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He teaches at the University of Toledo and lives in Toledo, Ohio.
 
Published July 23, 2013 by Graywolf Press. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Byzantium
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 13 2013

This is an exciting and essential collection, unlike anything in recent memory, and a decidedly impressive debut.

Read Full Review of Byzantium: Stories | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Michael Adelberg on Jul 22 2013

The high points of Byzantium are very high indeed, and this debut establishes Professor Stroud as an author with a terrific future.

Read Full Review of Byzantium: Stories | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Malcolm Forbes on Jul 20 2013

The historical stories are meticulously researched, studded with fine period detail and streaked with creative license...

Read Full Review of Byzantium: Stories | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for Byzantium
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 14 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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