Tom Barbash: Stay Up With Me

Stay Up With Me
Ecco, 2013
Hardcover, 224 pages, $22.99

The stories in this collection by MFA Program in Writing faculty member Tom Barbash explore characters reacting to the chaos and consequences of their everyday lives, from fractured relationships to the loss of a loved one and instant regret.

The newly single mother in "The Break" interferes in her son's love life over his Christmas vacation from college.

The anxious young man in "Balloon Night" persists in hosting his and his wife's annual watch-the-Macy's-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade-floats-be-inflated party while trying to keep the myth of his marriage equally afloat.

"Somebody's Son" tells the story of a young man guiltily conning an elderly couple out of their home in the Adirondacks.

And the narrator in "The Women" watches his widowed father become the toast of Manhattan's midlife dating scene, as he struggles to find his own footing in life.