catherine brady

elizabeth blackburn

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Reviews of Curled in the Bed of Love

“Brady’s characters are painstakingly particularized, emotionally complex, of their time and place: northern California in the late decades of the twentieth century. . . . Brady writes of quite ordinary sexual, marital love with laudable precision and tenderness. . . ‘The Loss of Green’ is notable for the clarity of its prose, the author’s wonderfully sharp poet’s eye . . . Her stories celebrate the ordinary humanity of small sins as of small triumphs, flawed but well-intentioned characters, imperfection. . . . It is rare for a writer to explore with such subtlety and respect the curious symbiosis of the needy and the needed as Brady does.”
- Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

“Brady is a meticulous writer.  Every word seems carefully chosen in order to trace the fine contours of her characters’ subtle and complex desires. . . . The grace of Brady’s writing is only enhanced by the dialogue between the characters.  At times it is surprisingly snappy.  Surprising, perhaps, because their internal lives are described with such care, their desires and inner struggles mapped so astutely. . . . Of all Brady’s talents, the most notable is her ability to shift points of view.  She writes of men and women, young and old, gay and straight, with the intimacy of one who has lived multiple lives, as multiple people. . . . In all of these stories, Brady’s empathy is boundless—the depth and realness of her characters is stunning.”
- Rebecca Tuch, The Women’s Review of Books

“For many of the characters in Catherine Brady’s second collection of short stories, love and death are imminent bedfellows, and notions of love are usually threatened by the fragility of life. The characters have a hard time forgetting past loves, but are optimistic about the promise of new love. Brady’s strength is her command of our language. Her writing is both eloquent and sparse, describing thoughtful, introspective characters that, in some way, feel threatened in their relationship. The characters seem to exist outside the stories—they are that believable—and at the end we are satisfied with the character’s inner resolution, knowing that beyond these pages the characters will continue to grow.”
- Molly Bloom, Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Brady embraces an Eskimo-like understanding that love has multiple meanings and infinite variations. … Whatever the circumstance, the character-driven stories are taut, well told, and reminiscent of at least someone everyone knows—or has been. Her book extends what readers thought they knew about love.”
- Camille-Yvette Welsch, ForeWord Magazine

“Catherine Brady is an expert at creating fascinating characters and placing them in a myriad of interesting situations.  Each of the eleven stories is a delight, yet each story is remarkably different from the others.  Brady’s range is impressive.  She portrays a variety of characters—a middle-class alcoholic mom, a grieving young man on a road trip, the owner of a greenhouse involved in an odd triangle, a hairdresser who has betrayed her cousin.  Then she masterfully gives an intimate and realistic view of their lives.”
- Deborah Prum, Virginia Quarterly Review

 “Highly readable. Brady has a powerful descriptive control and an ease with words that serve to complicate ordinary setups and deliver quietly devastating moments. She attempts to take on every sad aspect of relationships, from disease and death to infidelity and impotence, yet the strongest stories make the reader understand why we still go on looking for love.”
- Library Journal

“Brady’s stories wrap all the old questions in new packaging: live crisp prose and characters who genuinely feel. . . .  the sensibility is refreshingly different.”
- Kirkus Reviews