A Night at the Y


by Robert Garner McBrearty


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Wild, funny, touching, and full of crackling dialogue, the stories in this collection turn the intensity of real life up a notch: A soap opera star turns a set into a real-life melodrama. A hot spring oasis is the source of a man’s newfound sanity—or is it insanity?

In Robert Garner McBrearty’s talented hands, this exaggerated reality makes life seem much more hilarious and heartbreakingly real. Previously published in distinguished literary magazines,  these stories are about people caught at the moment of life change. Each compelling character struggles with major issues: the struggle to hold down two jobs, hold on to love, or keep a grip on reality. And then there’s the toughest tussle of all—the choice to be a responsible citizen or a heroic hellraiser who runs with the bulls.

Written with wit and true grit, these stories take readers from the city to the open country, from Texas to California. But no matter where they are set, real people live there—out loud.

Category: Product ID: 257

Additional information


Conundrum Press








5.5 x 8.5

Publication Date

November 4, 2014

The Author

Robert Garner McBrearty

Robert Garner McBrearty

Robert Garner McBrearty’s stories have been anthologized in the Pushcart Prize and widely published in leading literary journals, including North American Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Narrative Magazine,StoryQuarterly, and Mississippi Review. He is the author of three critically-acclaimed short story collections, A Night at the Y, Episode — stories from which won him the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award — and Let the Birds Drink in Peace; and a novella, The Western Lonesome Society.

McBrearty’s writing awards include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships to the Macdowell Colony and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His stories have been selected for performances at Stories on Stage in Denver, and at Arts and Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art. Other awards include fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass., and a New Mexico State Arts Grant.

Raised in San Antonio, Texas, McBrearty started writing as a teenager and in his early twenties moved to Mexico to write and study, earning a living by teaching English. A few years later, he graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and shortly after his stories began to appear in such major literary publications as the Pushcart Prize anthology, StoryQuarterly, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, North American Review and Narrative. “A lot of those earlier stories were written late at night after working another job, or at dawn when the kids were small,” McBrearty has said. “I'd tried to write before they woke up.” He often draws from his upbringing in Texas and the many varied odd jobs he’s had. His short stories have been frequently used for large dramatized readings at Stories on Stage in Denver and at the Dallas Museum of Art. He is the author of a previous collection of stories, A Night at the Y, republished by Conundrum Press in 2014. This volume was used as a textbook for classes at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio; and the University of Colorado at Boulder. His new novella, The Western Lonesome Society, is available from Conundrum Press. McBrearty lives in Louisville, Colorado. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, an English teacher, a dishwasher, a mental hospital attendant, a hotdog salesman, an assembly-line worker, and a ski-lift attendant. He is a consulting editor for Narrative magazine, and a contributing editor to the Pushcart Prize. He puts in time as a writing teacher, Tai Chi instructor, and househusband; but, McBrearty is primarily a writer.

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