Gloriously meta, My Brooklyn Writer Friend ventures inside the many minds of the writer. Laying bare the struggle with beginnings, the trouble with endings, and every hard-earned narrative step in between, Greg Gerke appreciates that whether writing into truth or lie, what matters is character. Neurotic and funny, earnest and obscure, the voices that echo in these short short stories resound with a clarion honesty that remains—and provokes and teases and endears—long after the final page is turned.
"These swift, swervy, nervous fictions—as often as not about writers in antic crisis with the language, lovers in trouble with their loves—are heartachingly hilarious and stocked from margin to margin with agony-born brilliances fresh and revitalizing. Greg Gerke’s endearingly self-questioning narrators worry their doubts into a make-do grace that leaves a reader sweetened too."
—Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way
"A Duchampian travelogue about the nature of how we read and construct stories, My Brooklyn Writer Friend is as compelling as it is entertaining. As quickly as the writers in the book build the scaffolding of their ideas, others endeavor to shift the architecture. The result is a series of brilliant roller-coaster rides that demand to be revisited many times over."
—Susan Daitch, author of Paper Conspiracies
"Greg Gerke writes like an anthropologist of love, or like a Brooklyn-based Sigmund Freud, walking down a Mobius boulevard, finding the truth as it flowers in the cracks of the sidewalk. Honest, deadpan, personal and smart, these stories conspire, like a dream, to create a world both uncanny and familiar, delirious and quotidian, funny and sad and completely mesmerizing."
—John Haskell, author of I am Not Jackson Pollock and American Purgatorio
"Greg Gerke is a short-form wizard; dark, funny, and seriously sly. His book will deliver you to strange new thought and feeling."
—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask
"How is it that Greg Gerke’s short fiction collection makes dislocation, miscommunication, and the anxious knots of the mind seem absolutely worthwhile and even kind of fun? Friends, sort-of-friends, lovers and sort-of-lovers tangle with the loneliness of being apart/together. Get prepared for a writer who wonderfully navigates bumbling, ordinary life with smart, sharp writing and a big dose of compassion."
—Victoria Redel, author of Make Me Do Things
"If you put Lydia Davis, Etgar Keret, and Philip Roth’s Portnoy in a
blender you might get Greg Gerke’s quirkily neurotic, hilariously honest
voice in My Brooklyn Writer Friend. All the writing about writing
probably won’t play in Peoria, but luckily he lives in Brooklyn,
believes in truth in advertising and his very short stories are weird
and wildly engaging."
—Susan Shapiro, author of Lighting Up and What’s Never Said