Neil Campbell’s new collection of short stories draws upon the work of American painter Edward Hopper. Many of the stories are directly inspired by the visual stimuli of a painting, some combine the influence of several different works and some simply use the titles of paintings as starting points.
In his wide-ranging second full-length collection of fiction, Campbell writes stories about love, sex, death, art, adultery, the media, marriage, suburban violence, consumerism, childhood, suicide, loneliness, music, mountains, wildflowers, birds, football, alcoholism, prostitution, obsession, incarceration, sociopaths, and laughter.
Campbell brings to life a mythical America, packed with images of gas stations, hotel rooms, lighthouses, diners, boardwalks, boarding houses, cinemas, offices at night, railroads, freight trains and sunlight by the sea, written from the perspectives of both men and women, in locations as diverse as the American Midwest, New York, Los Angeles, Texas, New Jersey and San Francisco, as well as Brazil, Manchester, Middlesbrough, The Peak District and The Isle of Arran.
‘A vital short story writer, in touch with people and the natural and constructed worlds around us.’ —Nicholas Royle
‘Each of these stories frames the world in the fine detail of its own perspective, and then goes on to find its place in Neil Campbell’s understated but penetrating vision.’ —Michael Cawood Green
‘Pared back but peppered with beautiful language, Neil Campbell’s stories are peopled with the destitute of spirit, looking for another – any other – for comfort. Rough and spiky men and women pair up and break up, they fight and they plead. These are stories not of love but of need and they ache with truth; they are as eerie and lonely as any Hopper painting.’ —Nuala Ní Chonchúir