Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143124603, 197pp.
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Chiusano . . . has] formidable talents. It will be worth watching what he does when he leaves the neighborhood. John Williams, The New York Times
An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction
Marine Park in the far reaches of Brooklyn, train-less and tourist-free finds its literary chronicler in Mark Chiusano. Chiusano's dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, sports, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. In the tradition of Junot Diaz's Drown, Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Banks's Trailerpark, this is a poignant and piercing collection announcing the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction.
“In clean, honed prose, Mark Chiusano gives us an intimate tour of a neighborhood of Brooklyn not offered up in fiction before. His explorations of loyalty within a family, and the breach of it, are startling and affecting—his sense of story is impeccable. Marine Park is a debut worth a reader’s close attention.”
“The stories in Marine Park are funny and touching and elliptical, and all about coming of age at the edge of the city and on the margins of the good life, with some moving forward and others left behind. Mark Chiusano is wonderful on how our minds can be elsewhere even when we wish to be wholly present, and on the oblique ways in which we therefore often have to signal our indispensability to one another.”
“One of the most subtle, tender, emotionally powerful books that I’ve read in a long time. Set mostly in Brooklyn, but its subject is the whole of America. If you’ve never been to Marine Park before, by the end of this collection you’ll feel like you’d lived there your whole life. This is a stunning debut.”
—Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, author of When Skateboards Will Be Free and Brief Encounters With the Enemy
“Here’s the spirit of dear Sherwood Anderson in Mark Chiusano’s Marine Park, another village brimming with all of the odd drama of families and loners. There is something a little old and wise in this talented writer’s debut. At times the stories read like the news, letters from a friend, and at times the tales seem elegiac glimpses of a lost world. Mr. Chiusano is writing family from the inside out and he makes this world an aching bittersweet pleasure. Here is the kind of affectionate particularity which marks a fine writer.”
“In Marine Park, Mark Chiusano shines a light on lives that are too often left in the dark. He shows us, with humor and deep-hearted compassion, the complexities of growing up and growing old in the blue collar shadows, and he gives us, story after story, the chance to see ourselves in his longing, hopeful characters. This is a wise and affecting collection, and it marks the arrival of a voice we’ve not heard until now, one that will carry through the streets and alleys of contemporary literature for years to come.”
—Bret Anthony Johnston