We at Black Lawrence Press are proud to announce the second printing of Neither Here Nor There by Marcel Jolley. This short story collection, winner of the 2004 St. Lawrence Book Award, is deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest. Eight deceptively simple stories introduce the reader to drifters, lovers, and Outsiders—people searching for a future both elusive and frightening. From barrooms to lonely highways to city busses ridden by enemies who have never learned each other’s name, Neither Here Nor There seeks out every character’s rough edges, deftly exposing the extraordinary ways that ordinary people dream.
A book as beautiful and infused with longing as the landscape it depicts, Neither Here Nor There marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer. Marcel Jolley is a connoisseur of desire, and the people in his stories, caught between lives they can hardly tolerate and futures they can hardly envision, are as real and complicated as the people we know. What binds us to them is their capacity for hope — that in the next town, or in the next season, they will finally get what they seek. This is a stunning and unforgettable book.
— Ryan Harty, author of Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona
Fasten your seat-belts, dear readers, for Neither Here Nor There is the best sort of adventure in fiction—it finds a way to make most unassuming things strange and mysterious by the means of its attentive and muscular prose.
— from the foreword by Ilya Kaminsky
I am, for the most part, unremarkable. I am twenty-six years old, a conservative thirty pounds overweight, and I work as a clerk for Kinko’s. The company prefers “copy artist,” but in the interest of honest self-appraisal, I decline the title. I was reared in Beaverton, Oregon, a collection of Olive Gardens, Red Robins and Pier One outlet stores completely interchangeable with countless other parasitic suburbs riding the coattails of our country’s better-known cities. Combine this heritage with a 2.7 undergrad GPA and half a master’s degree from a state university and my milquetoast normalcy only solidifies. I do have something, though, to set me apart from most people, an ace up my sleeve. I have an archenemy. Anyone would agree that is not normal…
To read the rest of “Archenemy”, follow this link.