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Sweet Nothing

Hardcover, 2/10/15

ISBN 9780316327541

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One of the Kansas City Star’s Best Short Story Collections of 2015. Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Contains two stories shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Short Story Dagger. 

In these gripping and intense stories, Richard Lange returns to the form that first landed him on the literary map.

These are edge-of-your-seat tales: A prison guard must protect an inmate being tried for heinous crimes. A father and son set out to rescue a young couple trapped during a wildfire. An ex-con trying to make good as a security guard stumbles onto a burglary plot. A young father must submit to blackmail to protect the fragile life he’s built.

Sweet Nothing is an unforgettable collection that shows once again why T.C. Boyle wrote, “Lange’s stories combine the truth-telling and immediacy of Raymond Carver with the casual hip of Denis Johnson. There is a potent artistic sensibility at work here” (on Dead Boys).

Richard Lange is the author of the story collection Dead Boys, and the novels This Wicked World and Angel Baby. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2004 and 2011. He lives in Los Angeles.

“The stories are vivid. . . . What comes across is the human animal’s capacity for perseverance in the face of failure. . . . You know you’re in the hands of an expert. . . . This is the kind of book you’ll want to savor.” —Lisa L. Kirchner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Lyrical yet matter-of-fact” —Angela Lutz, Kansas City Star

“Beautifully crafted . . . Lange has already earned a place close to Beckett’s elevated company.” —Jack Batten, Toronto Star

“Richard Lange’s stories are a revelation. He writes of the disaffections and bewilderments of ordinary lives with as keen an anger and searing lyricism as anybody out there today. He is Raymond Carver reborn in a hard cityscape. Read him and be amazed.” —T.C. Boyle, author of San Miguel

“For all the darkness that runs through the stories, Lange maintains a disarmingly light touch. . . . These tales are not far removed from the classic stories of O. Henry and Guy de Maupassant.” —Kirkus Reviews