Brett Ellen Block is a New Jersey native whose stories have appeared in The Sonora Review, The Mid-American Review, The Red Cedar Review, and various anthologies. Past winner of the Hopwood Prize and the Haugh Prize, she lives in Los Angeles where she is at work on her first novel.
Winner of the 2001 Drue Heinz Literature Prize
Selected by C. Michael Curtis
The characters in Brett Ellen Block’s debut collection of short stories may know their destinations, but they don’t always rush to them. From a runaway on an ice cream truck to a down-and-out retiree in a porn shop, they struggle to face both their pasts and their futures.
In a series of tightly focused and deftly drawn vignettes, Block explores the detours, potholes, and speed bumps along the road of life. These are stories about people at loose ends in their lives, coming to the realization that they can’t always sit back and enjoy the ride. Whether they’re committing petty larceny, moping their way through the winding streets and canals of Venice, or seeking to escape North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Block’s characters are learning to get behind the wheel and take control.