A little desert town gets a sexual charge from a crash-landed alien. A dysfunctional family tries to summit Everest with “discount Sherpas” and yakloads of emotional baggage. A teen messiah emerges from a game of 3-on-3. The stories in John Henry Fleming’s Songs for the Deaf, the first story collection by the “marvelously inventive” and “winningly satiric” author of The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman, put an intimate and modern spin on the American tall tale.
“Songs for the Deaf is a joyful, deranged, endlessly surprising book of stories that defy easy categorization. Fleming’s prose is glorious music; his rhythms will get into your bloodstream, and his images will sink into your dreams. Thank you, Burrow Press, for bringing John Fleming’s radioactively imaginative stories to us.” –KAREN RUSSELL, author of Swamplandia!
“Fans of George Saunders or Donald Barthelme will (not might; will) enjoy John Henry Fleming’s Songs for the Deaf.” –ORLANDO WEEKLY
“Fleming is a whimsical, imaginative, often funny writer, but even his most outlandish stories can sneak up on you with insight into the human condition.” –COLETTE BANCROFT, for the Tampa Bay Times
“Traumatic events in their lives lead some characters to redemption, others to extinction. Skillful choice of language, dark humor, and the occasional integration of fantastic elements ensure enjoyment. These strong stories will appeal to fans of literary writing and short stories.” –BOOKLIST
“Where Fleming truly excels is in the briefest story, “A Charmed Life,” which traces a lovable loser protagonist’s travels with straight-faced sincerity, showing what a skilled writer can accomplish in just a few short pages.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“All music worth playing is worth playing loud, and the volume on Songs for the Deaf should be turned all the way up. John Henry Fleming riffs on renegade cloud readers, drifters seeking out their long-lost midwives, and random floating girls. In one sublime lick he intones a high-school basketball game as the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve long admired his work, and this new collection—perfectly in touch with our fantastic times—is well worth blowing out a speaker or two.” –JEFF PARKER, author of Ovenman
“These stories somehow stay firmly on their tracks through wonderful narrative hairpin turns, the sentences sure in their gait, and as with most satisfying stories, it’s hard to tell whether the characters have guided themselves to the serendipitous endings they find, or whether they’ve been secretly dragged there by the superb skill of the storyteller. –JOHN BRANDON, author of A Million Heavens and Citrus County
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Henry Fleming is the author of The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman, a novel, and Fearsome Creatures of Florida, a literary bestiary, and The Book I Will Write, a serial novel-in-emails. His short stories have appeared in journals such as McSweeney’s, the North American Review, Mississippi Review, Fourteen Hills, and Carve, and have been anthologized in We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida, Pure Florida Fiction, and in The Future Dictionary of America. His awards include a Literature Fellowship from the State of Florida. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and is the founding editor of Saw Palm: florida literature and art.