- “These are tales that blur the lines between the tough emotional interiors of noir and the free-flowing obliqueness of a writer like Samuel Beckett.”—Los Angeles Times
Mamma swallowed. That’s Blunt, she said.
The world of Jeffery Allen’s stunning short-story collection is a place like no other. A recognizable city, certainly, but one in which a man might sprout wings or copper pennies might fall from the skies on to your head. Yet these are no fairy tales. The hostility, the hurt, is all too human.The protagonists circle each other with steely determination: a grandson taunts his grandmother, determined to expose her secret past; for years, a sister tries to keep a menacing neighbor away from her brother; and in the local police station, an officer and prisoner try to break each other’s reserve. In all the stories, Allen calibrates the mounting tension with exquisite timing, in his mesmerizing prose that has won him comparisons with Joyce and Faulkner. Holding Pattern is a captivating collection by a prodigiously talented writer.
- “Engaging, intriguing, and poetic.”—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
- “Imaginative, empathic, brave and beautifully told, these are astonishing and transcendent stories.”—Chicago Tribune
- "[Allen's] considerable poetic gifts of observance help keep aloft stories that might crash and burn in lesser hands."—Paste Magazine
- "Each tale is electric with the rising tension that proceeds stormy weather. . . . Allen's stories pull you down into the misery of the daily hustle and spit you out on the lonely crossroads between reality and myth, where the archetypes roam and trust is but a dream."—Booklist, starred review