Actes Sud - France
Simon & Schuster - U.K.
With the publication of this unforgettable collection of short stories and a first novel to follow, Jordan Harper will make an indelible mark on American fiction.
Not since the publication of LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, a big bestseller for Grove Press a generation ago, has a short story collection had the power to startle and grab the reader in the same way. Each story stands on its own, bringing us memorable characters and unexpected plot twists. In "Riding a Moped," a robber enlists the help of a lonely, obese jewelry store clerk in a planned heist by wooing her and promising a new life, but the heist doesn't go as planned, and the woman gets her revenge in a startling ending. In "Agua Dolce," a man manages to escape the grave he's been forced to dig for himself by a drug gang, and takes desperate measures to save himself and his young son.
Harper's first novel, IF ALL ROADS WERE BLIND, is already under contract to Ecco Press, and will be delivered in August, 2015. The title is drawn from Bonnie Parker's poem, the basis for BONNIE AND CLYDE, and, like that story, this novel deals with two people on the run. A father, recently released from prison, has been marked for death by the Aryan Brotherhood gang, who have threatened to wipe out his entire family. He is also wanted by the police as the prime suspect in the murder of his ex-wife, the first victim in the gang's vendetta. Determined to save his 11-year-old daughter from the same fate, he sets off with her on what will be a road trip into Hell.