In Tim Fitts’ debut short story collection, Hypothermia, characters vacillate between their authoritarian, religious upbringings and their moral consciences. The title story weaves gracefully through the multiverse while trying to make sense of the suffering and tumult of the First Gulf War. Largely set in the late-20th-century South, before cellphones and surveillance impinged upon self-reliance, the characters navigate a fettered path of hope, false expectations and spiritual struggle. Stories from this emotionally wrought collection previously appeared in journals such as CutBank, The Gettysburg Review, and others.
Wryly warm, tersely affectionate, philosophically ambitious, Tim Fitts’ short stories are hypnotic. His characters bravely maneuver a worldly meanness to find hope, wonder, and sometimes beauty—which is what we come to fiction for in the first place. Terrific writing, and a great read.
—Laura Lee Smith, author of Heart of Palm
Tim Fitts knows his way around a greasy spoon and a theater, an off-kilter romance, a keyboard, and Gulf War looniness. He explores our personal and social dysfunctions in these idiosyncratic, often funny stories.
—Stephan Salisbury, Senior cultural writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer
Hypothermia leads us breathlessly from Mexican alleys to small-town cafés, from abandoned lots to little-used roads through lonely subdivisions. Within these overlooked settings, author Tim Fitts mines the rich emotional terrain of adolescence and early adulthood. On their uncertain journeys, Fitts’s characters—quirky, witty, bruised by life—find unexpected glimmers of meaning and grace. Fitts follows in the tradition of master storytellers David Gates and Ron Carlson with exquisite prose and psychological precision, but he carves out new territory with these tales of people and places who might be overlooked. In these nine fascinating stories, we cannot look away, not even for a moment.
—Diana Renn, author of Tokyo Heist, Latitude Zero, and Blue Voyage
Whether it’s two men using the guise of religion to make kids grow up too fast, or two boys trying to understand life and death on the hunt for a bullfrog, Tim Fitts’ collection Hypothermia gives grace and dignity to characters and subjects that our society does not always afford such privileges.
—Nic Esposito, founder of the Head and the Hand Press