WINNER OF THE BOA SHORT FICTION AWARD
Praise for The Era of Not Quite
“Herein find fiction full of whimsy, wit, hurt, and terror. Wicked, as in wickedly funny, is in the mix, too, along with a prose style both seductive and sly. Any one of Doug Watson’s first collection of stories, The Era of Not Quite, can mend a broken world.”
-Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends
“Once upon a time, an acquaintance of Kurt Vonnegut, having read all of the writer’s books, accused Vonnegut of putting bitter coatings on very sweet pills, and I am here to level the same charge against Douglas Watson. Yes, this collection is a relentless catalogue of frailty, folly, and mortal misery, but if you look beyond the cholera, the neck wounds, the burning feet, the bleached bones, the voids, the caves, the deaths at sea, the stillborn babes, the senseless yearnings of the heart, the grief and despair and profound loneliness, then what you will find, reader, is a tender, lovely, elegant celebration of the very idea of life, of living. These are vital and exceptional tales.
-Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits
Excerpt from "When the World Broke"
When the world broke, a certain farsighted county commissioner announced a storytelling contest.
“Whoever can tell the story that fixes the world,” she said, “shall be a hero to the people and shall receive a hero’s pension for the rest of his or her days.”
The county commissioner sighed, for the word days belonged to the unbroken past. Since the breaking, there had been only twilight, a perpetual neither-this-nor-that. Schools of thought had arisen to argue whether the world was getting imperceptibly darker or lighter, but the county commissioner had closed the schools down. The world didn’t need another argument—it needed a story...
About the Author
Douglas Watson is the winner of the first annual BOA Short Fiction Prize. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University and an MA in history from Brown University. He works at TIME magazine and has also done editorial work at Sports Illustrated, The Journal, and two academic journals, The New England Quarterly and Current History. Stories from The Era of Not Quite have appeared in Tin House (online), Sou'Wester, and Fifty-Two Stories. His second book, a novel called A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies, is due out in 2014 from Outpost19.