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Book Notes: Daydreamers

Jonathan Harper

Daydreamers: Stories (Lethe Press 2015), a collection of short stories by Jonathan Harper (MFA creative writing ’10), has been listed as a Kirkus Review Indie Book of the Year for 2015: 

“He perfectly captures the fecklessness of a certain age and mindset while investing it with real psychological depth and emotional resonance—and even with an air of mystery and possibility that belies the seeming banality of his characters’ lives. A fine debut collection from a gifted chronicler of contemporary queer discontents.” 

About Daydreamers

In this collection of short stories, downtrodden workers at a towing company compete to repossess an elusive Mercedes; two men clash over their participation in a body modification ritual; a group of Dungeons & Dragons players find themselves unwelcome in an upscale resort; the discovery of a drowned corpse haunts two would-be lovers in a beach town. Ne'er-do-wells, prodigal sons and young men without a clue await to be met in these nine stories that speak to a new generation of hopefuls not usually found in contemporary queer fiction.


"Tenants who destroy your rental apartment, corpses that wash ashore, old men in strip bars, bullies, failed fathers, estranged lovers, and very lost young men negotiating relationships with older ones—welcome to the world of Jonathan Harper's Daydreamers, whose assured prose style is turned with deadly accuracy on the crummy, sinister, banality of life in contemporary America. Harper's collection brings to mind a movie of an Anne Tyler novel, if it were directed by David Lynch. There is some original sin at the center of these lost lives. But what is it exactly? Whatever the answer, Harper's stories get better as they accumulate, until they take on the weight of an original artist's vision."
- Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance and Grief

"A catalog of suburbia's petty desolations and meditations on lost chances; Harper makes for a keen archivist of his characters' flawed, unfinished manifestos."
- Genevieve Valentine, Author of The Girls at the Kingfisher Club and Mechanique

"These stories—by turns wry, haunting, and melancholy—examine the ubiquity of loneliness, the painful gaps between yearning and fulfillment, and the myriad difficulties of truly connecting with lovers, family, and friends. Harper's tales have long deserved to be collected under one cover."
- Jeff Mann, author of Cub and Salvation

For More Information

Visit the author's website.