Between Camelots is about the struggle to forge relationships and the spaces that are left when that effort falls short. In the title story, a man at a backyard barbecue waits for a blind date who never shows up. He meets a stranger who advises him to give up the fight; to walk away from intimacy altogether and stop getting hurt. The wisdom—or foolhardiness—of that approach is at the heart of each of these stories. In “I’ll Be Home,” a young man who has converted to Judaism goes home for Christmas in Miami, and finds that his desire to connect to his parents conflicts with his need to move on. “The Movements of the Body” introduces us to a woman who believes that she can control the disintegration of her life through a carefully measured balance of whiskey and mouthwash. These are stories about loss and fear, but also about the courage that drives us all to continue to reach out to the people around us.
Ebenbach displays real affection for his characters, empathetically reserving judgment even as they wrestle with, and at times succumb to, self-destructive demons . . . Ebenbach's adept, skillful stories may inspire readers to rethink and perhaps reinvent traditions of their own.
Even as Ebenbach's stories crackle with emotional energy, his language is simple, pared-down, focusing on the minutiae. His technique is honest. Ebenbach understands the art of restraint and his sense of precision is so sharply honed it draws blood. . . .A great book of stories. The kind that makes you believe in the people on the page so fully that you feel the heat of them in your fingers.
In Between Camelots, David Ebenbach fearlessly treads onto the terrain of American loneliness with clear-eyed precision and perfect pitch. Whether they're about one-night stands or newly shattered hearts, struggling young marriages or two gay men simply trying to connect, these are stories that, above all, tell the truth. They are rendered with an honesty and compassion that can make you sit up and gasp.
In these stories, David Harris Ebenbach creates a world so carefully observed and nuanced that each moment seems capable of changing everything.
These stories of searching young Americans are intimate and sharply detailed, sometimes hopeful, often sad, with just a taste of the strange. Between Camelots is about the scars of first losses, and the need to carry on. David Harris Ebenbach is always in full command, leading the reader moment-by-moment through his people's dis- and missed connections, ultimately leaving us alone with them at the quiet end of the night.
David Harris EbenbachÕs short fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines including Denver Quarterly, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Crazyhorse. His poetry has appeared in Phoebe, Stickman Review, and Arbutus, among other publications.