Don't Worry About the Kids
StorieseBook - 1997
When Jay Neugeboren's first book of stories was published a quarter century ago, it was hailed by one critic as "the most penetrating and superbly written look at adolescence since J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye". Since then, Neugeboren has published more than fifty new stories, many of which have won prizes and/or been chosen for anthologies. This volume brings together fifteen examples of his best work -- stories that are by turns violent and tender, lyric and stark, terrifying and playful, funny and surreal.
Although the voices and settings of these tales are diverse, their central concerns remain constant. Neugeboren explores the precarious nature of family life and those elements -- madness, betrayal, loss -- that often shape and threaten it. He writes about the mysterious, sad, surprising, and sometimes beautiful ways in which love expresses itself. He reveals how our choices, large and small, inform and define our lives.
Whether writing about a black American musician in Paris or a documentary filmmaker in Maine, about a boy grieving for the death of his father or parents for the loss of their children, about divorce or city life or basketball or mental illness, Neugeboren brings to his craft a profound knowledge of the heart's imperatives. This volume is the mature, seasoned work of a fine writer.
"Don't Worry about the Kids paints a harrowing portrait of mid to late 20th-century social life: marriages, divorce, broken and mended families, the races at odds and at play. Jay Neugeboren's steady gaze is unflinchingly aimed at the chaos and carnage of his characters' attempts to justify existence andthemselves. These stories are as eloquent as they are powerful". -- William O'Rourke