Hush Hush by Steven Barthelme

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If you're up $16,000 at the casino and missing dinner with the woman you love, how do you find the strength to drive away? If you give up your career and your beautiful wife and find yourself drinking vodka and fixing cars for a living, is that necessarily a step down? In Hush Hush, Steven Barthelme gives us a simultaneously twisted, heartbreaking, and hilarious account of learning to quit when you're ahead.

The collection, which includes the Pushcart Prize-winning "Claire," exposes the surprising dignity in lying on your belly in the pouring rain, in ringing your ex-girlfriend's doorbell at 4 A.M., in sleeping with your dead wife's best friend. Co-author with his brother Frederick of the brilliant and devastating casino memoir, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss, Steven Barthelme seems to cast an eye at his own history and the characters he's known. These are men and women who are down --- but stirringly, not quite out. An unmissable, arresting book from one of the most seminal short story writers of the last twenty years.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Steven Barthelme

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STEVEN BARTHELME was born in 1947 in Houston, the son of the celebrated architect Donald Barthelme Sr. He is the author of the story collection And He Tells the Little Horse the Whole Story and the co-author, with his brother Frederick, of Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss. A collection of essays and occasional pieces titled The Early Posthumous Work appeared in 2010. He is the director of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he is also a Professor of English. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Yale Review, McSweeney's, and the Pushcart Prize annual.
Published October 23, 2012 by Melville House. 210 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hush Hush

Publishers Weekly

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Stylistically, the stories’ range from traditional to the experimental flares in an alienated child’s neologisms in “Siberia” and the disorienting admission of a nonfiction writer’s fabricated facts in “The New South.” What makes this so solid is, no matter Barthelme’s approach, t...

Aug 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Hush Hush: Stories

Critical Mob

Barthelme's language is crafty and clean, and his longer stories, notably "Hush Hush" and "Claire," a profound story that highlights the equal struggle between money and love, are fluid and will leave readers with the same feeling as finding that perfect fitting pair of jeans after a tired day of...

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Steven Barthelme’s new short story collection opens with a whimsically tragic monologue delivered by Elliott, a 10-year-old trapped in a school for the gifted and sentenced to therapy after burning himself with a cigarette.

Jan 23 2013 | Read Full Review of Hush Hush: Stories

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