Dead Roosters and Other Stories
160 Pages / Short Stories
978-1944884871 (pbk. $19.95)
November 15, 2020
Praise for Dead Roosters and Other Stories
Dead Roosters is storytelling at its finest. The author is a filmmaker, and it shows: Clayton has a pure, cinematic instinct for picking moments, and bringing his reader deep and close to the action. His voice is honest, direct and, perhaps most importantly, he knows the value of simplicity and how to balance plain, accessible language with super precise detail that creates a fully-imagined world around his characters. Reading this book, you’ll get to know the place and the people, and you’ll understand just what makes the American South a caldron of compassion and pathos. True, authentic stuff—storytelling at its finest.
—Nicoye Banks, Queen Sugar, Green Zone, The Dunning Man
As I moved through, and savored, Michael Clayton’s debut collection, I was struck by a keen sense of admiration and gratitude. Admiration for the skill being wielded by an artist of such uncommon talent, of course. Clayton’s unflinching eye and beautiful sentences, his affecting blend of poignancy, brutality, and humor. But yes, gratitude, as well. Appreciation for the honesty and authority he demonstrates on every page. Michael Clayton is not just a masterful writer—he is a man bearing witness, sharing stories with us that, clearly, he was born to tell.
—Skip Horack, author of The Other Joseph, The Eden Hunter, and The Southern Cross
Michael Clayton has a crime novelist’s ear for dialogue and a marksman’s eye for the shortcomings that make us human. The stories in Dead Roosters call to mind the best of Larry Brown but they have a hard-won intensity all their own. They’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished them.
—Kevin Moffett, author of Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events
Dead Roosters is so damn good, so compulsively readable, as to immediately catapult Michael Clayton into that tiny exclusive club populated by the likes of Flannery O’Conner and Breece D’J Pancake. Clayton is an original, and Dead Roosters contains one unique voice after the next. Brilliantly attuned to class and the characters’ own roiling anger or subtle ennui, this nuanced collection is nothing short of a new classic.
—Amanda Boyden, author of I Got the Dog, Babylon Rolling, and Pretty Little Dirty