In the tradition of classic short stories by John Cheever
and Tobias Wolff, those in Tom Barbash’s evocative collection
explore the myriad ways we try to connect to one another and
to the sometimes cruel world around us. The newly single
mother in “The Break” interferes with her son’s love life over
his Christmas vacation from college. The anxious young man
in “Balloon Night” persists in hosting an annual watch-the Macy’s-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade-floats-be-inflated party, while trying to keep the myth of his marriage equally afloat. Barbash laces his narratives with sharp humor, psychological acuity, and pathos, creating deeply resonant and engaging
stories that pierce the heart and linger in the imagination.