Three new stories for men, by three of the most ambitious and talented names in fiction
A search for an eight-ball of cocaine, turns into a pistol-whipping and executions in Aaron Gwyn’s stunning and disquieting “You and Me and the Devil Makes Three.” Gwyn, who was born in Tulsa and raised on a cattle ranch, is the author of the novel The World Beneath and the story collection Dog on a Cross, about which the Boston Globe wrote, “In Gwyn’s expert hands, nothing, including good or evil, is ever so simple . . . part Flannery O’Connor, part Shirley Jackson, and wholly original—so brilliantly compelling.” This new story is no less shocking and revelatory.
In “Young Man Blues,” Luis Alberto Urrea introduces us to Joey, the son of a motorcycle gangster tasked with caring for his mother while his dad serves time in Pelican Bay. Packed with rottweilers and German Lugers, roaring car engines and doughnut girls, this story is as riveting and funny as it is affecting. Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is the author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter, which was twenty years in the making and named a book of the year by numerous publications. His most recent novel, Queen of America, is a New York Times “editor’s choice” selection for 2011.
Jess Walter’s “Big Man” depicts middle-aged men trying to relive their glory days in their local recreational basketball league. Beer bellies, ex-wives, and middle age come together in a hilarious and absurd riff on mortality that is vintage Walter. Walter’s novels include The Zero, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Financial Lives of the Poets, which Time called “the funniest way-we-live-now book of the year.” He most recently published Beautiful Ruins, which Richard Russo describes as “an absolute masterpiece.”
Esquire's Fiction for Men is a new ebook series whose mission is to publish the type of original short stories men love to read—plot-driven, immediate, essential, and impossible to put down.