You, Me, and the Lion Tamer

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New Word City, May 31, 2011 - Fiction
1 Review
A lovesick clown tries to explain his part in an unlikely love triangle, but is the tightrope walker of his dreams even listening? In a world where death-defying feats happen every night, the biggest dangers may be those caused by a broken heart. Equal parts slapstick and unrequited love, this story was selected by Richard Russo for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2010.

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One of the best short stories I've read, and I've read a lot of them. Mathews takes a rather trite setting and story, a lovesick clown bemoaning his unrequited love for a pretty and daring trapeze artist with predictable outcome. But the way he tells his minor tragicomedy is unparalleled. You read this story for the terrific and poetic prose, some of the most moving I've seen in a long time. 

About the author (2011)

Brendan Mathews’s short fiction has been featured in Best American Short Stories 2010 and on National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered. His stories have also appeared and in a number of literary magazines, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Epoch, TriQuarterly, and Five Chapters. A member of the faculty at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, he lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and their four children.

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