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Floodmarkers

List Price: $14.95

June 19, 2009 | Paperback | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, 208 pages | ISBN 9781582435060
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The residents of a North Carolina town weather Hurricane Hugo, and other kinds of storms, in this “smart and funny” collection of linked stories (Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish).

The days leading up to the impending disaster are not at all unusual—no portents, no signs of impending calamity. Bryce works his night shift at the hot dog factory, Isaac drives the bus to school, Evelyn attends a funeral. But when the electricity fails in the middle of the night on September 21, 1989, it marks the moment when everything will change: Hugo has arrived.

The storm builds, the wind whips by faster and faster, and interpersonal dramas, grudges, and rivalries are dredged up along with the flotsam and debris. Meanwhile, flood markers, painted red, track the height of the water from past rainstorms, and as the creek level rises higher than ever before, so do the emotions of the townspeople. Floodmarkers has us look bravely at the eye of the storm, as acclaimed author Nic Brown shows us that human nature can stir up a spectacular tempest all its own.

“Stories starring lovable slackers and beautiful failures . . . on my List of Favorite Books, right after The Moviegoer and just before Cathedral. Smart and funny and sexy.” —Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish

“Reminiscent of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio in both its structure and its tragi–comedic view of a small town . . . his empathy and insight into the human condition is breathtaking.” —Jonathan Ames, author of You Were Never Really Here

About Nic Brown

Nic Brown is the author of the novel Doubles and the story collection Floodmarkers, which was selected as an Editor's Choice by The New York Times Book Review. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Harvard Review, Glimmer Train, and Epoch, among many other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbia University, he has been the John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi and an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado. Currently he is an assistant professor of English at Clemson University.

Praise
"What Brown does so expertly is to summon the brief, intimate moments—the single word shared between two characters, the simple gesture that quietly reveals hope." —The New York Times

"Like Sherwood Anderson, Brown is essentially a still–life artist; he eschews plot for portraiture, the linear for the lateral." —BookForum

"Floodmarkers is . . . about the life of our times, stories starring lovable slackers and beautiful failures from a generation we haven't even bothered to name yet. And there are dogs in it—lots of them, both dead and alive—which helped clinch its spot on my List of Favorite Books, right after The Moviegoer and just before Cathedral. Smart and funny and sexy, Floodmarkers is more than just art: it's art on a motorcycle."
—Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish


"Nic Brown is the most talented new writer I've come across. This first book of his is reminiscent of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio in both its structure and its tragi–comedic view of a small town and the subsequent sufferings and joys of its inhabitants. Brown's prose is beautiful and his empathy and insight into the human condition is breathtaking."
—Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir! and The Extra Man


"Floodmarkers is funny, warm, insightful, and very, very moving. Nic Brown has written a beautiful depiction of contemporary Southern life in a small town—a compassionate portrait of hopeful, striving people. (Not to mention the sex, drugs, and hurricane.)"
—Chris Offutt, author of No Heroes

"Nic Brown's writing is so smooth it slips into your veins. Read the opening pages of Floodmarkers and you're hooked on these interwoven stories that are as volatile, unpredictable and irresistible as the hurricane that holds them together. When the storm rips the lid off this humble town it exposes a motley ensemble of flawed, hopeful and quietly desperate young characters. There is more humanity overflowing on these pages than on most works of fiction twice its size." —Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide


"Nic Brown is a wonderful new writer and Floodmarkers is a wonderful new book. Brown's prose is full of snap, crackle and pop. His characters are so vivid they jump off the page, and the dialogue is some of the best I've read in years. He gives us an important vision of the contemporary South in a time of prosperity and woe, yet the stories are funny and full of life. Floodmarkers is simply delicious. Bon Appetit!" —Randall Kenan, author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead

"Nic Brown writes with a clear eye and deep sympathies. The stories in this fine first collection show a writer already beginning to hit what promises to be a very big stride." —Pam Durban, author of So Far Back

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