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Paul Lisicky Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Unbuilt Projects (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Memoirs

The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Later: My Life at the Edge of the World (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Famous Builder (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
What's Your Exit?: A Literary Detour Through New Jersey(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Gay Stories 2010(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Gay Stories 2011(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unstuck #3(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Paul Lisicky
Author Paul Lisicky was born on July 9, 1959 and grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and earned an MA from Rutgers University-Camden and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Paul taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, Rutgers University-Newark, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Sarah Lawrence College, and New York University, as well as other places. He works as an associate professor in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden.

Paul’s work has appeared in Conjunctions, Fence, The Offing, The Atlantic, Tin House, Ecotone, The New York Times, and in many other anthologies and magazines.

His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (where he was a Fellow twice), the James Michener/Copernicus Society. He edits StoryQuaterly and serves on the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

He lives in Brooklyn, New York City. From 1995 until the year 2011, his partner was Mark Doty, the writer. They were married in 2008 and then divorced in the year 2013.

Paul’s debut novel, called “Lawnboy”, was released in the year 1999. He writes memoir, literature, fiction, and gay and lesbian.

“Lawnboy” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 1999. Seventeen year old Evan’s adventure starts with mowing the lawn of a neighbor, a summer job that leads him right into an unpredictable world of betrayal and desire.

Estranged from his older brother and parents, he moves in with William, who is forty-one years old, and starts a disastrous attempts to create a new home for himself. Will he have to make a decision between his own desire and family?

No one writes about hilarious longing the way that Lisicky does. Some writers manage to be sad and funny in turn, but here, Paul manages to be both at the same time. It is beautifully written, and Paul has a bright narrative style. He delivers a lushy romantic, tragic, and emotional pursuit. Lisicky captures the dramas, tensions, and turmoils of coming to fully know and entirely appreciate someone’s gay self in a way that few if any, other gay writers have been able to.

“The Burning House” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2011. This is a novel about the things that ind us together in this life and the things that pull us apart.

In this family saga, narrator Isidore Mirsky finds his close-knit family and community all of a sudden coming apart. Facing the illness of family members and the loss of homes in an urban town that is plagued by a recession. He also has to contend with an overwhelming new desire are his feelings for his wife’s sister.

This finds its narrator at his most vulnerable, and explores what it really means to be a good man among chaos.

Paul tells this in hypnotic and gorgeous language, as the reader follows Isidore through his travails and hope that he’s going to come back to living within the moment, which he does. The prose is tremendously beautiful to read, with so many brief yet startling insights. Every sentence in this novel is a marvel, as though Lisicky discovered (or invented) the only correct way to describe a feeling or detail.

“Unbuilt Projects” is short prose that was released in the year 2012. We encounter a collision of sex, God, adulthood, and childhood within the realm of these short pieces and encounter the speaker’s palpable pain while he mourns a mom lost to dementia.

Through the intersection of each one of these varied themes, we are made privy to the interior world of the speaker, as well as made a witness to the exterior world. Ultimately, these tales give us everything, and we end up being left wanting nothing, except for more.

“The Narrow Door” is a memoir and was released in the year 2016. Paul creates a collage of images and scenes drawn from two long-term relationships, one with female novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet.

The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Paul and Denise, stretched to their limits by the demands of their writing lives, drifting apart, and Paul’s romance starts to falter. The world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and some local disturbances make for an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise’s cancer diagnosis and Paul’s impending breakup.

Paul’s compassionate resilience and heart appear all the stronger in the face of such brutal losses. His survival (which is hard-won, unsentimental, authentic) proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life.

Paul delivers a breathtaking and heartbreaking memoir. It is astonishing and a moving account of love among artists that some have read in a while.

“Later: My Life at the Edge of the World” is a memoir and was released in the year 2020. When Paul arrived in Provincetown during the early nineties, he was leaving a history of family trauma behind him to live in a place outside of time, known for its values of acceptance, inclusion, and art. Inside of this idyllic haven, Paul hunts for connection and love and comes into his own while he finds his own sense of belonging.

At the same time, the center of this community gets consumed by the AIDS crisis, and the structure of the town life is getting rewired out of necessity: What might this utopia look like during a time of dystopia?

This dramatizes a ravaged yet tremendous place and a unique era when more fully becoming one’s self collide with a realization that ongoingness could not be taken for granted. And that staying alive from one moment to another exacted absolute attention.

Paul delivers a vibrant and heart-bursting love letter to queer haven Provincetown, Massachusetts. However, the terrain Lisicky also covers here is that of the human heart freed, even if momentarily, from horror. This is a brutally honest, candid, and scorching memoir that emits sweet sorrow and tenderness.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Paul Lisicky

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