August 2, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Marine Park: Stories by Mark Chiusano

Marine Park: Stories
Author: Mark Chiusano
Genre: Short Stories
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books


An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.

Marine Park—in the far reaches of Brooklyn, train-less and tourist-free—finds its literary chronicler in Mark Chiusano. Chiusano’s dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, sports, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. In the tradition of Junot Díaz’s Drown, Stuart Dybek’s The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Banks’s Trailerpark, this is a poignant and piercing collection—announcing the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction.


“Chiusano paints a vivid portrait of Marine Park . . . [and] proves himself a skilled story teller.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Chiusano gives a voice to the lesser-known Brooklyn neighborhood of Marine Park in his collection of interconnected stories that unearth broader truths among quotidian events, from haircuts to train rides.”
Huffington Post

“[A] promising debut. . . . 23-year-old Chiusano revisits his native Brooklyn—specifically, Marine Park. The neighborhood, distinguished by its salt marshes, canals, and large waterfront park, serves as the collection’s focal point, bringing together a multigenerational cast of characters.”
Publishers Weekly

“Here’s the spirit of dear Sherwood Anderson in Mark Chiusano’s Marine Park, another village brimming with all of the odd drama of families and loners. There is something a little old and wise in this talented writer’s debut. At times the stories read like the news, letters from a friend, and at times the tales seem elegiac glimpses of a lost world. Mr. Chiusano is writing family from the inside out and he makes this world an aching bittersweet pleasure.  Here is the kind of affectionate particularity which marks a fine writer.”
—Ron Carlson

“One of the most subtle, tender, emotionally powerful books that I’ve read in a long time. Set mostly in Brooklyn, but its subject is the whole of America. If you’ve never been to Marine Park before, by the end of this collection you’ll feel like you’d lived there your whole life. This is a stunning debut.”
—Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

“In clean, honed prose, Mark Chiusano gives us an intimate tour of a neighborhood of Brooklyn not offered up in fiction before.  His explorations of loyalty within a family, and the breach of it, are startling and affecting—his sense of story is impeccable.  Marine Park is a debut worth a reader’s close attention.”
—Amy Hempel

“The stories in Marine Park are funny and touching and elliptical, and all about coming of age at the edge of the city and on the margins of the good life, with some moving forward and others left behind. Mark Chiusano is wonderful on how our minds can be elsewhere even when we wish to be wholly present, and on the oblique ways in which we therefore often have to signal our indispensability to one another.”
—Jim Shepard

“In Marine Park, Mark Chiusano shines a light on lives that are too often left in the dark.  He shows us, with humor and deep-hearted compassion, the complexities of growing up and growing old in the blue collar shadows, and he gives us, story after story, the chance to see ourselves in his longing, hopeful characters. This is a wise and affecting collection, and it marks the arrival of a voice we’ve not heard until now, one that will carry through the streets and alleys of contemporary literature for years to come.”
—Bret Anthony Johnston
Marine Park is a collection of seventeen short stories, all of which touched me in some way. Some were funny and others sad, and they all dealt with life, family, love, and growing up. The writing was fluid and had a great conversational tone, which made it easy to fly through all the stories in a short amount of time. The author does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the story alongside him - almost to the point where it felt like I was there when these things happened. Each story had a strong attention to detail and description with vivid imagery to make the entire story - setting, people, situations - come to life. I don't generally read short stories or anthologies, but I'm glad I made an exception for this book. It was truly a pleasure to read and showcases the author's talent nicely. I loved reading each story, regardless of what happens, because they all allowed me to experience things I never have before - and probably never will. Most of all, this collection of stories put the author on my radar, and I'll definitely be reading more of his works soon. Highly recommended for fans of anthologies and short stories, along with those who enjoy realistic fiction and memoirs.

Mark Chiusano is a graduate of Harvard University, where he was the recipient of a Hoopes Prize for outstanding undergraduate fiction. His stories have appeared in Guernica, Narrative Magazine, the Harvard Review, and online at Tin House and The Paris Review Daily. He was born and raised in Brooklyn. (Taken from Goodreads)
Author Links:
The awesome people at Penguin Books are allowing me to give away (1) finished copy of Marine Park to a lucky winner! Open to US only!


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