Are We Lucky Yet? by Jane Bradley

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Are We Lucky Yet? by Jane Bradley

14.00

Runner up in the 2009 AWP Grace Paley Short Fiction Competition

8.5 x 5.5 paperback

152 pages

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Praise for Are We Lucky Yet?

“Jane Bradley is a natural storyteller. Are We Lucky Yet? is a quick read, but not a story for the weak. Bradleys' brutally sad accounts of people, who don't have much to lose but lose it all, are stories worth reading. Bradley captures the stormy world of her protagonists, detailing their hazardous, often savagely violent lives with confidence. Even though the stories are undeniably dark, Bradley pays special attention to small flickers of hope. She often pulls her characters from the gutters, from unspeakable horrors, and in the end celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit …. Are We Lucky Yet? reminds me of Pollock's Knockemstiff. But, if you can believe it, Bradley has even darker stories to tell.” 

  — Masie Cochran, Documentary Film-maker

“Comedy alongside heartache, these stories croon honky-tonk ballads after closing-time. They wade in loss but keep scanning for a Coast Guard rescue copter. Astute about the nuances of sliding social class, the stories are tough, direct, grimly funny …. The writing is adult: it acknowledges how much has been lost already. But the tone remains fresh with sweet (or bruising) sensation. Every character comes rigged with a crazed belief—as the title suggests—that Luck is still somehow bound this way—after an unexpected delay in another time-zone …. The tales are set in trailer suburbia. But their actions seem played out across the Wal-Mart parking lot's only clover-covered median. Sexual relief can be found, but out near the dumpsters of a closed strip-mall steak house …. The writer's steadying empathy and talent for doom, drive the characters toward reckless chance-takings. This creates a tender suspense as hard to shake the stories' betraying faith in Luck itself.” 

  — Allan Gurganus, Citation for Runner Up in The Grace Paley Prize Competition