Winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award for Your Life Idyllic
The characters in Your Life Idyllic think too much. It’s why they suffer. The freedom of Whitman’s prismatic “I contain multitudes” is a curse for the blue collar Detroiters populating these stories. Herein they wrestle with the rich, uncomfortable nuances of the “examined life” while the turmoil of bar fights, paying bills, family estrangement, and detox hurtle them towards enlightenment.
Praise for Your Life Idyllic
“These mighty stories of Detroit give us a great soul struggling up from ruin, full of grace, courage, and a hopeful heart. No one knows the city better than Bernier, and no one writes about it with anything like his tender and glorious savagery.” — Michael Byers, author of Percival’s Planet and The Coast of Good Intentions
“A stunning debut of startling power and vision. I found myself recalling the thoughts and feelings I had entertained when I first read Ray Carver, Richard Ford, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Thom Jones. I believe Bernier’s book belongs on the shelf next to these aforementioned wonderful and important writers. Bernier tells stories of struggle and survival in the lives of ordinary, marginalized people, vividly capturing their sense of stubborn, even heroic striving. These are beautifully achieved stories, wrought in a prose crafted and contoured with a kind of sculptor’s touch, evoked in crystal-bright incidents which bend neither to sentiment nor easy bitterness. Indeed, it is this muscular lyricism with its intense, edgy, dangerous pleasure that sets him apart as a new voice to be reckoned with.” — Chuck Kinder, author of Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale and Snakehunter
Released: August 2014
Copyright © 2016 Craig Bernier. All Rights Reserved.