Tom Barbash is the author of the award-winning novel The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction New York Times Bestseller, On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney's, VQR, and other publications and have been performed on National Public Radio for the Selected Shorts Series. He currently teaches in the MFA programme at California College of the Arts. He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and currently lives in Marin County.
The stories in Tom Barbash's evocative and often darkly funny collection explore the myriad ways we try to connect to one another and to the sometimes cruel world around us. The newly single mother in 'The Break' interferes with her son's love life over his Christmas vacation from college. The anxious young man in 'Balloon Night' persists in hosting his and his wife's annual watch-the-Macy's-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade-floats-be-inflated party, while trying to keep the myth of his marriage equally afloat. The young narrator in 'The Women' watches his widowed father become the toast of Manhattan's midlife dating scene, as he struggles to find his own footing. The characters in Stay Up With Me find new truths when the old ones have given out or shifted course. Barbash laces his narratives with sharp humour, psychological acuity, and pathos, creating deeply resonant and engaging stories that pierce the heart and linger in the imagination.
'Stay Up With Me belongs to the tradition of the classic American story and, like John Cheever, Barbash dramatizes the messy lives of New Yorkers' Independent on Sunday A newly single mother wrestles with the evidence of her son's love life during his Christmas vacation; an anxious husband persists in playing the host at his annual drinks party even though his marriage is in trouble and his wife mysteriously absent; a young man watches his widowed father become the toast of Manhattan's midlife dating scene while he struggles to find his own footing in life . . . The characters in Tom Barbash's acclaimed, Folio Prize-nominated collection explore the myriad ways we seek to connect with each other and the sometimes cruel world around us. In the classic tradition of John Cheever or Tobias Wolff, Barbash laces his narratives with sharp wit, psychological acuity and pathos, so that they pierce the heart and linger in the imagination.