The Empty House – by Nathan Oates

by Nathan Oates.  From the northern Wilderness of Alaska to the mountains of Guatemala, from rural Ireland to war-torn Haiti and beyond, the characters in these award-winning stories travel with dreams of escape but find themselves ensnared by cultural misunderstandings, political strife, and the weight of family: a professor heads to Ireland with his wife and children, hoping to mend his broken marriage; a father and son find themselves up in a near civil war in Haiti; a young man travels to Guatemala, trying to understand what happened to his brother who disappeared there years before.  These characters walk the fine line between safety and danger, good and evil, life and death, and on their way find their truest selves revealed.

Nothin is wasted in a Nathan Oates story.  The plots are brisk, the stakes are high, the characters want things, and we want them to get what they want.  The pages of The Empty House turn so quickly that the reader finishes the book with the best sort of complaint: Why couldn’t it last a little longer?  -Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s TerritoryPraying Drunk

Nathan Oates is an extraordinary young writer whose collection is utterly remarkable.  His stories are dense and intricate, very close to the heart, taking us to places we’ve never been and will never be.  In Oates’s skilled hands these are works rendered perfectly by a master of place, character, action, a writer with a stunning skill set.  The Empty House announces the arrival of an astonishing new voice on the literary scene.  -Frederick Barthelme, editor and publisher of New World Writing

The Empty House is a winner of the Spokane Prize in fiction.  It can be purchased here.