Release Date: November 1, 2008
eBook Price: $7.99
A schoolteacher escapes East Berlin at night, swimming the Spree River three times carrying elderly relatives on her back, so she can make her way to West Palm Beach, Florida, and "ruin the lives of fifth grade boys." A young husband reckons with the likelihood that his wife's troubled pregnancy will end with her death before Christmas. A preacher bathes his ill and elderly mother, not knowing that she has mistaken him for the long-lost cousin she watched murder his brother in her father's tobacco field. In six stories that read like novels in miniature, Kyle Minor plumbs the depths of human mystery, where meet our kindnesses and our cruelties, our generosities and our pettinesses.
Includes the story "A Day Meant to Do Loss," selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2008, and "goodbye Hills, hello night," winner of the 2005 Tara M. Kroger Award.
“In the Devil’s Territory is a brilliant, electrifying debut by one of America’s best young writers. Filled with grace and wisdom, Kyle Minor’s bold, compassionate stories burn deep into the eternal mysteries and violent truths of the human experience with the force of a welding torch cranked to the max. I would walk through Hell to be able to write like him.” —Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
“Who is Kyle Minor and how does he know so much about the dark caverns of the human heart? What whispered spells does he cast to make me laugh and weep and gasp and clench my jaw all in the same page? From what secret river does he pull his sentences, glittering and sinuous? Faced with such captivating writing, I have only amazed questions—because Kyle Minor has all the answers.” —Benjamin Percy, author of Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk
“In the Devil's Territory is an extravagantly good book. Dealing with the uneasy transactions people make in family and companionship, its six stories chart the wide scope of human possibility, from brutality to complicated redemption, and achieve a precise, crucial compassion. Kyle Minor's talent is rich and deep, and this book will not soon be forgotten.” —Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
“Kyle Minor writes hellbent, heartbroken fiction that is lyrical and gritty at once. Whether his subject is the recklessness of youth or an old woman’s wrecked life, he remains uncannily attuned to the disturbances of the human heart. Minor’s an extraordinary young writer, not to be missed.”—Edward Falco, author of Wolf Point and In the Park of Culture
"‘The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Party,’ which opens the collection, is Minor at his best–a powerful story about a man overcome with guilt, worry and resentment as the health of his wife and their unborn child hangs in the balance. Minor has a knack for capturing melancholy and establishing empathy for his book’s many wayward characters." —Publisher’s Weekly
"In Kyle Minor’s dark debut collection of stories, personal secrets always exact a terrible price—sometimes worse than the events that motivated them. In the novella 'A Day Meant To Do Less'—violent, agonizing, and the centerpiece of this collection—nine-year-old Franny gets assaulted in the tobacco fields near her Kentucky home. She is chased, pushed, pissed on, forced to take her older cousin’s penis in her mouth. She grows up, tells no one, buries it deep. But as Minor shows in fantastic, horrifying detail, buried truths can bubble up in strange, nightmarish ways." —Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Phoenix
"Throughout this striking collection, we are reminded that everyone harbors a secret life, in one way or another. The stories live beyond the page, make you look around, in classrooms and grocery stores and churches, in living rooms and across kitchen tables. They make you wonder what people need to confess but cannot—and if they did, could we bear to hear it?" —Jason Skipper, Third Coast
"Minor performs magic with point of view, and he knows that if you describe a thing precisely enough you can make it not just real but tragic… Minor is ambitious in ways that seem too risky to succeed, but the stories do succeed." —Alice Mattison, The Yale Review
"There’s a certain kind of story that, rightly or wrongly, is associated with college writing programs: polite, restrained, limited in scope and often concerned with subjects close to the experience of the young writer. Kyle Minor, who received a master’s degree in creative writing last year from Ohio State University and became a visiting writer at the University of Toledo, barrels right through the stereotype. The six stories collected for In the Devil’s Territory are bold, diverse, complex and shockingly memorable… The range is impressive. Even more impressive is the thoughtfulness with which Minor explores the limits of our understanding of ourselves and one another; and the compassion that sometimes, briefly, reaches across those limits." —Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
"Minor’s voice lands somewhere between William Faulkner and Stephen King." —Sean Carman, NewPages
"The Roman dramatist Terence wrote, 'Nothing human is alien to me.' It seems Kyle Minor shares his credo. No one is beyond the reach of his unsentimental compassion." —Susannah Rickards, The Short Review
"A great strength of Minor’s (and he has many) —he doesn’t shy away from excavating the darkest realms, the most off-limits ideas, those thoughts that make their way across our brains that we never, never admit to having to anyone else, and are only barely able to admit to ourselves." —Bookslut