Grace for Grace

Books distributed by the Chicago Distribution Center

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2020

ISBN (pbk): 978–1-946724–30–4

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-946724-31-1

Published April 2020

Grace for Grace


Steve De Jarnatt

Grace for Grace brings celebrated cult filmmaker Steve De Jarnatt’s distinctive voice and cinematic vision to the page. Lush inner lives, idiosyncratic syntax, and sweeping scale characterize these wildly imaginative stories, which present characters in search of meaning and belonging, and often, at the same time, redemption and revenge.

“Rubiaux Rising” (a Best American Short Stories selection) is a tale of triumph amid calamity during Hurricane Katrina, “Her Great Blue”a surreal interspecies love story. “Mulligan” reveals the private pain of parents traveling across the country to give away their children, and “Wraiths in a Swelter” is both a ghost story and a confessional memoir—following a deliriously exhausted EMT through a deadly Chicago heat wave.

Many of the stories in Grace for Grace are set against the backdrop of natural or manmade catastrophes. These disasters test the characters’ limits as they confront sudden changes and extremes, discovering through their unexpected resourcefulness and endurance something beyond suffering . . . something that approaches the sublime.

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About the Author

Steve De Jarnatt’s fiction has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories, among others. He has worked as a writer, director, and producer in film and television for three decades, most notably writing and directing the cult classic Miracle Mile.

Steve De Jarnatt

Praise for Grace for Grace

“While each story fulfills its purpose pertaining to the characters’ needs, desires, and flaws, the tales are united by themes of finding a home. Grace for Grace is a varied, ornate short story collection that navigates the inner lives and outer experiences of characters whose origins are outside of what’s ordinary.”
Foreword Reviews

“By the time the story is over, we have seen a romance, a gangster revenge plot, a disaster thriller, all of it leading De Jarnatt back to the oldest form of storytelling there is: the oral tradition of great myths. How he gets there—what storms create his turning points—is worth the price of admission to find out.”
Joseph Michaels, Hindsight Magazine

“A feast for the language-lover and a workout for the thrill-minded, Steve De Jarnatt’s short fiction takes us to extremes in these eleven astonishing stories. Exquisite, raw, and absolutely unique.”
Janet Fitch, author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral

“Working in a grain that might be termed “American psychedelic sublime,” De Jarnatt’s stories are cousin to Barry Hannah’s, Donald Barthelme’s, to Charles Portis, even—which is to say they resemble nothing so much as themselves. In their syntax, in their feeling, and in their untrammeled imagination, they are thrilling and electrical and absolutely, wildly alive.”
Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound

“The expansive, antic mind behind the stories in Grace for Grace is a formidable literary force. This collection is so fresh and imaginative and marvelously strange—so good—it will leave an indelible impression on its readers, of which Steve De Jarnatt deserves legions.”
Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men

“This book is vibrant and provocative, designed to shake the intellect and emotions—I didn’t realize how asleep I was until I read these stories, and I’m thankful to be awakened by De Jarnatt and his amazing collection.”
Alan Heathcock, author of Volt and 40

Featured in the National Book Review.