Stories by Josh Rolnick

The John Simmons Short Fiction Award Winner

“I glanced out the window as my train pulled into the station and saw the girl who killed my son.”

So begins this powerful debut collection of eight stories, which accent the unavoidable tragedies of life while revealing the grace and dignity with which people learn to deal with them. The award-winning stories—four set in New Jersey and four in New York—span the wide geographic tapestry of the area and demonstrate the interconnectedness of both the neighboring states and the residents who inhabit them.

From the grief-stricken father struggling to come to terms with the banality of his son’s accidental death at the hands of a high school cheerleader in “Funnyboy,” to the Coney Island carousel operator confronting fading memories of a world that once overflowed with grandeur and promise in “The Carousel” — the characters in these stories search for a firm footing while wrestling with life’s hardships, finding hope and redemption in the simple yet uncommon willingness to act.



Advance Praise

“Sharp and arresting on the sentence level, and full of compelling insight … this book is a real wonder.”
—Danielle Evans, author, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

“Josh Rolnick’s extraordinary stories suggest the author suffers from a strange anatomical condition: he clearly has a heart that’s even larger than his oversized, electrified brain.”
—Nic Brown, author, Doubles and Floodmarkers

“These finely wrought stories trace a path to restoration and repair without ever resorting to the overused, predictable footways. Their empathy and insight are surprising, their breadth is impressive.”
—Kevin Moffett, author, Permanent Visitors