Call it What You Want
Keith Lee Morris, author of The Dart League King, returns with a new story collection as acute, funny, and heartbreaking as we've come to expect from him.
In this stunning story collection inhabited by dreams and disappointments, good intentions and small triumphs, Keith Lee Morris chronicles the lives of men lost in the liminal spaces between adolescence and adulthood. For all their flaws—as husbands, as fathers, as friends—Morris’s characters are portrayed with depth, tenderness, and humanity. Call It What You Want balances realism with the surreal, humor with sadness, and explores all the hidden places in between.
Praise For Call it What You Want…
"In these 13 stories, protagonists turn the reader into a confidant and introduce plots that believably approximate the unique and fitful path of human thought...Morris's prose is polished to transparency and proves surprisingly flexible in terms of tone...marked by quiet authority and beautifully observed moments." Publishers Weekly
"Morris has enough guts to reveal al of his character's insecurities, but enough empathy to never revel in them."Time Out Chicago
"With his matter-of-fact prose and bitter humor, the author has spent a decade writing quietly debilitating portraits of the kind of men that grew up poor in small Western towns...and never left. . . . Morris’ ability to capture these people without irony or pity turns them from caricatures to our own lonesome, troubled neighbors and family members, allowing each a few beautiful moments in otherwise fucked-up lives."Kelly Clarke, Willamette Week
"It's Morris' ability to isolate these kinds of human longings and riff on them, even past morbidity to the point of a black hilarity that makes his fiction so compelling and so real."Matt Davis, Portland Mercury
Morris delves into the lives of marginal men with great understanding. Many are treading the edge of self-awareness with an awkwardness that could be grace or despair.”Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Morris has an honesty to his writing that comes from homing his craft so that just the essentials are left and a sympathy and humanism to the way he presents his characters."Kevin Holtsberry, Collected Miscellany
"In less capable hands, these stories of hardscrabble lives could become sentimentalized or condescending, but Keith Lee Morris is too talented, too empathetic, to allow that to happen. Though his characters are often in extremis, their humanity is always fully realized. These characters, and the stories they tell us, haunt the reader long after the last page is turned, as only the best stories do." Ron Rash, author of Serena
Here are thirteen manic, beautiful stories, each centered around working men, dads, and boys, all of them broken or on the edge of breaking. Each bears witness to fragility, confusion, and beauty. Each is quietly brilliant.”
Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and About Grace
A new Keith Morris story collection should be cause for wild and possibly illegal celebrations among those of us freaks who revere the form, and the species at large. Readers should drink to excess and confess to loves best left unnamed. The stories in Call It What You Want are among the finest being written in America todayprecise missiles aimed at the human heart.”
Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Candyfreak
"They are character-driven explorations of seemingly ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. They are literary stories for a literate reader...The stories in Call It What You Want take an unvarnished look at contemporary life and the people who live it. They explore the limitations that keep people, even those that love each other, apart." Blogcritics.org
"With wit and heart, Keith Lee Morris’s stories explore the slippery nature of memory, its mutability and incompleteness. His characters are forever filling in the blanks, and where others might have to earn our empathy, they have it straightaway."Bomblog
"Morris is plan-spoken, but his style is laced with a distinct, playful wit and could just as easily draw comparisons to Richard Ford, John Cheever, or Flannery O'Connor..."HTML Giant
Tin House Books, 9780982503089, 264pp.
Publication Date: March 23, 2010