Author Archives: Joseph Barbato

What’s Important Is Feeling

No one knows who slept with her first.

-Adam Wilson, What’s Important Is Feeling: Stories


Respect Yourself

Jim Stewart sat in his barber’s chair.

-Robert Gordon, Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul, with a foreword by Booker T. Jones


The Abominable

I met Jake Perry in the summer of 1991.

-Dan Simmons, The Abominable: A Novel


Death and the Olive Grove

At nine o’clock in the evening a tiny little man no taller than a child came through the front door of the police station, out of breath.

-Marco Vichi, Death and the Olive Grove: A Novel


Just Three Minutes, Please

Should you aspire to being a demagogue in contemporary America, or simply a panderer, or an ordinary politician, there may be no single better issue onto which to hang your ideological hat than immigration.

-Michael Blumenthal, “Immigration Nation,” in Just Three Minutes, Please: Thinking Out Loud on Public Radio


Three Brothers

In the London borough of Camden, in the middle of the last century, there lived three brothers; they were three young boys, with a year’s difference of age between each of them.

-Peter Ackroyd, Three Brothers: A Novel


The Battle Hymn of the Republic

For five days at the end of May 1807, some four thousand men and women congregated in a backwoods community called Boiling Spring, about thirty miles east of Richmond, Virginia, to sing the praises of God and allow Christ into their hearts.

-John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis, The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On


Everyone in Their Place

The angel of death made its way through the festa, and nobody noticed.

-Maurizio de Giovanni, Everyone in Their Place


Death in Sardinia

Sergeant Baragli lay in the bed nearest the window, a small tube stuck in his arm.

-Marco Vichi, Death in Sardinia: A Novel


People Park

All we understood: at nine o’clock that morning, the illustrationist would be arriving by helicopter.

-Pasha Malla, People Park: A Novel

people park