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Stephen Dobyns Books In Order

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Publication Order of Charlie Bradshaw Books

Saratoga Longshot (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Swimmer (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Headhunter (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Snapper (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Bestiary (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Hexameter (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Haunting (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Backtalk (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Fleshpot (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Strongbox (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Payback (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Man Of Little Evils (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dancer with One Leg (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold Dog Soup (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Boat Off the Coast (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House on Alexandrine (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
After Shocks/Near Escapes (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wrestler's Cruel Study (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Church of Dead Girls (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Boy in the Water (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Burn Palace (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Best Words, Best Order (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Next Word, Better Word (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Concurring Beasts (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Griffon (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heat Death (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Balthus Poems (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cemetery Nights (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Body Traffic (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Velocities (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Common Carnage (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Dog, Red Dog (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eating Naked (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Porcupine's Kisses (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mystery, So Long (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter's Journey (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Best American Short Stories 1999(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stephen Dobyns is a poet, journalist, and bestselling literary fiction novelist. He was born in New Jersey and brought up in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Michigan.

He would then attend Wayne State University and Shimer College and in 1967, he graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an MFA. He proceeded to work for Detroit News as a reporter, which is something that he did freelance for many years.
Dobyns has also been a professor at many institutions including Boston University, Sarah Lawrence College, Syracuse University, the MFA program at Warren Wilson College, and the University of Iowa.

In most of his genre fiction and his poetry, Dobyns makes use of extended tropes including the absurd and ridiculous to showcase his more profound meditations on art, love, and life.

For his work in literature, he has been granted numerous prizes for fiction and poetry, three fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Over about a dozen years when he was employed by the San Diego Reader, he published more than thirty feature stories. Two of his short stories and one long-form fiction novel have been made into film.
He currently makes his home in Westerly Rhode Island.

Growing up, Stephen Dobyns used to read a lot of mysteries and science fiction novels. Even as a twelve-year-old, he was a very good writer, even if he did not realize how talented he was at the time.
In grade school, he hated the writing exercises especially when the teacher read out aloud their compositions which he thought of as punishment rather than flattery.

He began writing more adult fiction when he was in the 7th grade and still remembers stumbling upon “The Moon is Down” by John Steinbeck. It was from reading the works of Steinbeck that he would soon graduate to Hemingway.
By the time he was 15 or 16, he understood pretty much all the poetry that was taught in junior high school and high school.

Dobyns particularly loved “To His Last Duchess” by Robert Browning among several other nineteenth-century poets, even if he thought the language was too different from what he was used to.
It was when they began studying poetry to jazz that he got very interested in poetry. There was a Rexroth reading paired with Ferlinghetti albums, Walt Whitman with William Carlos Williams, and then a Langstone Hughes album.
He began doing deep dives into poetry and began to think that maybe he had a career in fiction writing and poetry.

In all the years that he has been active, Stephen Dobyns has worked for Detroit News as a reporter.

His work as a tutor at many academic institutions has also greatly impacted his writings. Working as a professor, Dobyns has had to study subjects so that he could be more proficient and not humiliate himself when standing in front of his students.
The terror of humiliation means that he has had to study all manner of poetry which has enriched his creative writing practice. He has also been enriched by his students and the many colleagues that he has worked with and interacted with over the years.
While he is engaged in all manner of pursuits, he tries to work every day on his fiction. He usually writes from his study but sometimes takes his laptop to any room in the house to find inspiration.

He published Concurring Beasts his first collection of poetry in 1972 and his first novel “A Man of Little Evils” in 1973. He now has more than forty works of fiction to his name.

Stephen Dobyn’s novel “Saratoga Longshot” is set in New York and it introduces Charlie Bradshaw. He is a benign and bumbling and ultimately bulldog-like private detective working in New York in 1975.

Working in the Saratoga suburb there is nothing Bradshaw wants more than to quit his job as a cop. He also wants to be married just as badly and it is not long before he leaves everything behind on a whim and goes on a quest to find a troubled young man.
But the world has never been kind to him and whatever he does he finds that people try to bully him and push him off the spaces in which he finds himself.

Since it is impossible to live that life of always being bumped off every good thing, he decides to be persistent with everybody.

He believes that by being irritatingly persistent, the people he deals with will decide it would be less trouble to just give him what he wants.

He is a unique character but he is no smooth operator or tough guy and is awkward and touchingly humble and for the most part, does not understand what he is getting himself into. This makes for a delightful and surprising story.

In “Saratoga Snapper” by Stephen Dobyns, Charlie Bradshaw has dated bar waitress Dors Bailes for several years and has even fallen in love, even though he has never been comfortable in the relationship.
At some point, she leaves him to go find a man who is more aligned with her way of thinking, leaving Chrlie to reflect on how he lives his life and who he is.

He believes no one could ever find him appealing even though his ex did not leave him because she disliked him.

For the most part, Doris left because Roger Phelps had an outlook in life more aligned with hers. The fact that he had a sort of ruddy vigor and played squash also helped his cause.
Charlie is determined to go on with his life but he cannot forget Doris no matter how hard he tried. He thinks it would be easier if he met other women but believes it is hard given that he is balding and a little overweight.
While he is a man advanced in age, he still gets paralyzing crushes which he still has from the time he was in high school. The worst thing is that he hardly has any interest in sensible women.

Stephen Dobyn’s Saratoga Backtalk is a story told from the perspective of a fifty-something private investigator named Vic Plots.

Together with Charlie Bradshaw his boss, they find themselves working on a series of intriguing murders at the Sratoga-based Battlefield Farms.

Things get interesting when their list of suspects is whittled down by a mysterious killer who takes them out one by one. Vic and Charlie are just in time to save the last suspect but the mystery gets even more bizarre.
Overall, it is Vic’s machinations and observations that make everything worthwhile.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephen Dobyns

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