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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Settright Road by Jon Boilard

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Settright Road by Jon Boilard


Settright Road by Jon Boilard


Publication Date: January 2017
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN: 978-1-941088-62-3

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In these hard-knuckled stories, the desperate and wayworn scratch out a living in withering Massachusetts mill towns during the coke-fueled 1980s

A teenage lothario whose plans to hop a train to California are monkey-wrenched when he impregnates a local girl from a prominent family. Fresh-out-of-prison Sean Folan, who nearly kills a man in a bar fight just so he’ll get locked up again. Underage Bill Buick, who sells dope to hard-up townies and seduces high school girls, when he’s not driving a wedge between his aunt and her new boyfriend. And Annabelle—trouble in a too-tight dress—a dancer and a poet whose unsavory relationship with a strip club owner comes to a tragic end when she falls in love with a notorious backwoods brawler.

In stories that Kirkus Reviews credits with “the brevity, sharp focus, and corrosive anger of good punk rock,” Boilard challenges us to root for these conflicted characters despite the weight of their human errors.

Praise for Settright Road:

“Like Ray Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Jon Boilard’s Settright Road is a cohesive collection of stories about working class life that delivers an impact similar to a novel when read as a whole. Set mostly in dying mill towns in Western Massachusetts in the eighties, these sometimes interrelated stories, composed in taut yet often lush and lyrical sentences, present characters teetering on the edge of ruin and sometimes death.”
Western Mass
"Jon Boilard's collection Settright Road is an unflinching, uncompromising, Inferno-esque tour of the economic underbelly of Massachusetts. Jon's down-and-out and forgotten characters are given a collective voice that demands to be heard. Disturbing, despairing, heartbreaking, and hauntingly beautiful.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock
"It takes a mix of courage and vulnerability to write beautiful, truthful stories in which we lay bare our characters and our very selves. Boilard is a brave, honest and open storyteller. He writes from his heart and we are fortunate witnesses."
—Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him
"When you think rural noir, you might not think New England. But Settright Road proves you should. Jon Boilard's tight, haunting collection about struggle and decline in crumbling mill towns is a must-read for fans of the genre—or anyone who enjoys stories that stick with you long after you've read them."
—Rob Hart, author of South Village