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The Graybar Hotel: Stories by [Dawkins, Curtis]
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The Graybar Hotel: Stories Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 225 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In The Graybar Hotel, Curtis Dawkins brings the contemporary short story at its best into the shadowy world of America at its worst, behind the bars of its overpopulated and ubiquitous prisons. These brilliantly crafted stories – with their formal inventiveness, savory dialogue, meticulous detail, and succinctly compassionate portraiture – are as much a manual in how to write original short fiction as in how to think about prisons. Still, anyone who wants to understand America’s correctional system through the clarifying lens of great fiction will now have to know three indispensable books: Malcolm Braly’s On the Yard, for the social novel; Chester Himes’ Yesterday Will Make You Cry, for the bildungsroman; and now Curtis Dawkins’ The Graybar Hotel, for the short story.
—Jaimy Gordon, author of the National Book Award winning novel Lord of Misrule

“Curtis Dawkins draws from his direct experience to paint a picture of jailhouse life in all its grimness. He conveys the repulsive mixture of boredom, stupidity, filthiness, meanness and chronic anxiety that is the prisoner's lot. The inmates are dysfunctional, the structure that houses them authoritarian. This book will scare you straightor should. But within their cages, Dawkins' prisoners dreamof criminal schemes, drugs, womenand an American world outside the walls. Their avid fantasies burn with a furious light against the bleak institutional background, exploding with ingenuity, pathos and rebellion. In many cases, these outsiders are, like Dawkins himself, artists.
—Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life

“The Graybar Hotel is unlike any other short story collection I’ve ever read.  Dawkins’ cast of characters are forever longing for escapeescape from prison, escape from their past, escape from freedom, even.  And when the escape is successful, when one reality is traded for another, Dawkins’ characters find themselves lost, even pining for what they had in the first place.  The Graybar Hotel is not a “prison book.”  It is a mirror, held up to our culture of incarceration.  It is a testament, a testimony that the people inside prison are as much Americans, as much citizens as their guards, parole officers, and wardens, that there is no outside, that prisons are as much America as pubs, playgrounds, or parks.  There is a current of electricity running through this book, a shocking voltage of truth.  What an authentic and rare book The Graybar Hotel is.”
—Nickolas Butler, internationally bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs, Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men

About the Author

Curtis Dawkins grew up in rural Illinois and earned an MFA in fiction writing at Western Michigan University. He has struggled with alcohol and substance abuse through most of his life and, during a botched home robbery, killed a man on Halloween 2004. Since late 2005, he’s served a life sentence with no possibility of parole in various prisons throughout Michigan. He has three children with his partner, Kim, who is a writing professor living in Portland, Oregon.

Product details

  • File Size: 3208 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1501162292
  • Publisher: Scribner (July 4, 2017)
  • Publication Date: July 4, 2017
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MFEYDAJ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,824 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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