If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There

If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There

Madden, Dave
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/01/2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02062-8
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2016 Foreword Indies Finalist, LGBT category

After the Plains queered him, Dave Madden decided to return the favor. This outstanding collection of short stories tells the tale of a different kind of difference—one not set in the glittering lights of New York or Los Angeles, but in the grand and wide American Midwest. For Madden’s characters, their queerness is part of the environment, like the soil, the sky, and the supermarket: an HIV-positive chemist uses football to connect with his brothers; a 17-year-old girl tussles with a cartoon cobra to avoid thinking about the mother who abandoned her; and a hotel concierge starts attending Mass even though his partner was molested by a priest. In seeking out the ordinary struggles of extraordinary people trying to figure out their place within families and communities, Madden masterfully explores what it means to be an outsider always looking in.

Author Bio

Dave Madden is author of The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy. His shorter work has appeared in Harper’s, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, The Normal School, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the Sherwood Anderson Award in fiction, an AWP Intro Journals Award in nonfiction, a Bernard De Voto Fellowship at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.


This is a fiction debut brimming with wisdom and wit where characters are forced into the periphery of their own lives and struggle to overcome the impediments they pose to their own happiness. Dave Madden renders these characters with the fond and exacting accuracy of a mathematician plying a notoriously unsolvable problem. These are people who might have given in to desperation were it not so impractical and who live with a moving fastidiousness of spirit in an effort to overcome "the chasms and imbalances we create."While jaggedly comical and charming, Dave Madden’s fiction is a sharp reflection of our darker moods, a rich skewering of domestic life, of workplace perversities, of misguided therapy. These portraits of families, lovers, and friends are smart, moving, and funny.These unforgettable, beautifully crafted stories are narrated in a voice that is among the very best of this generation of young writers. Madden is a brave, canny, bold writer who walks unafraid into lives that are marginalized, damaged, ridden by grief and loss and sometimes held up by only a thread of reality. Anything is possible in a Madden story, which move effortlessly between worlds where people misstep into tragic loss and end up in a circus act, or maybe even in love.Dave Madden has again given us a wonder of a book.  These charismatic stories, as funny as they are sad, are attuned to the possibility of disorder beneath every human aspiration.A wry, deliciously smart sensibility presides over the magnificently multi-tentacled If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There. The title story alone is worth the price of admission, delivering the book to a place of exquisite, wondrous tenderness. Dave Madden is a protean talent and his story collection is a treasure trove.

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Table of Contents

Karl Friedrich Gauss
Smear the Queer
If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There
An Uneven House
Little Fingers
If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There
Another Man’s Treasure
Irgendwo, Nirgendwo
We All Have Difficult Jobs
If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There
Reading Group Guide

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