But it eventually becomes clear that things are unraveling elsewhere as well, as strangers, violent and desperate alike, begin to appear in the North End, spreading word of social and political deterioration in the South End and beyond. Faced with a growing disruption to his isolated life, the narrator discovers within himself a surprising need to resist losing the home he has created in this empty place. He and the rest of the citizens of the North End must choose whether to face outsiders as invaders or welcome them as neighbors.
The City Where We Once Lived is a haunting novel of the near future that combines a prescient look at how climate change and industrial flight will shape our world with a deeply personal story of one man running from his past. With glowing prose, Eric Barnes brings into sharp focus questions of how we come to call a place home and what is our capacity for violence when that home becomes threatened.
AuthorBy Eric Barnes
Published6 March 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Eric Barnes is the author of the novels Shimmer, an IndieNext Pick from Unbridled Books, and Something Pretty, Something Beautiful from Outpost19, which The Millions called a "remarkable book . . . where cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts." He has also published nearly forty short stories in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, The Literary Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and other publications. By day, he is publisher of newspapers in Memphis and Nashville that cover business, politics, the arts and more. On Fridays, he hosts a news talk show on his local PBS. In the past, he was a reporter and editor in Connecticut and New York. Years ago he drove a forklift in Tacoma, Washington, and then Kenai, Alaska, worked construction on Puget Sound, and, many years ago, he graduated from the MFA writing program at Columbia University.
"A stunningly-written tale of loss and grief. The stark beauty of Barnes's prose will pull you into a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is at once utterly foreign and hauntingly familiar. The City Where We Once Lived is a riveting journey through devastation, but one that delivers a world where seeds of hope emerge in the unlikeliest of places. It is a story of our time, but also timeless. It is a story of one man, but a story that speaks to each of us and for all of us. It is a story that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page." –Lindsay Moran, national bestselling author of Blowing My Cover
Praise of Something Pretty, Something Beautiful
"Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written . . . The most harrowing portrait of American boys careening into manhood that I've ever read." –Benjamin Whitmer, author of Satan Is Real
"[A] remarkable book. . . . This is a world where the pull of friendship is far stronger than the pull of family, where cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts." –The Millions
"The new novel chronicles in stark, effective prose a boy's tragic discoveries about how friendship works." –Commercial Appeal
Praise for Shimmer
"Case's slow but accelerating downward spiral drives the narrative." –Publishers Weekly
"Robbie is one of those engagingly conflicted heroes who comes along from time to time, an essentially good man who knowingly perpetrated a swindle of epic proportions." –Booklist
"[A] sheen of elegance and terror; one is reminded, in Barnes' language and locution, of Don DeLillo's scalpel-sharp delineation of American corporate culture and paranoia, and of David Foster Wallace's penetration into the heart of the relationship between human consciousness and rapidly changing technologies." –Fredric Koeppel, Commercial Appeal