"Thomas Derr writes with warmth and intelligence and heart-stopping clarity. His respect for his characters -- and his readers -- is present in every line and it's a thrill to bear witness as they shout their own names and barrel headlong into mistakes, all in an effort to make themselves indelible. What renders these stories so remarkable, however, and what makes this debut so memorable is a profound sense of nostalgia for the choices his characters might have made, the lives they might have lived, the world as it might have been."
"Telephone Road is a collection of quiet and lasting power. Each of these moving stories is roped with muscle and laced with original, earned insight. Thomas Derr renders his deeply flawed, deeply human characters with rare grace and lyrical prose, and with his first book, he establishes himself as one of the country's finest young writers."
-Bret Anthony Johnston
About Telephone RoadTelephone Road lives in the after-image of the vanished object -- objects as dear to us, and as strange, as the people with whom we share our lives. This linked short story collection abandons the logic of chronology for the deeper patterns of a life captured at defining moments of renewal, suspended motion, precocious nostalgia, and even vigilante justice. Story by story, Telephone Road maps the changing boundaries of the absence at the center of the narrator's life, and is both haunted and haunting in its pursuit of fixed experience in a world that it knows to be constantly fading away. The violence wrought on domestic objects in the opening story, 'Housebreaking,' echoes the theme of the stories to come as we wind our way back through the narrator's various homes, with their disparate styles and their emblematic objects, toward the narrator's formative years and foundational experiences.
Colgate Writers' Conference
Tuesday, June 19th