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Mark Brazaitis

Mark Brazaitis is the author of six books, including The Incurables: Stories, which won the 2012 Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. He was recently drafted to play Cinderella’s father opposite his younger daughter in an ice-skating production. His role consisted of doing a spin on two feet, then falling onto the ice. He lives in Morgantown, West Virginia.

— From April 2014
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Locked In To Life

In a locked psychiatric facility you’re obliged to keep living — unless, that is, you’re extraordinarily desperate and creative about instruments of self-destruction: a half-pint milk carton, a Chutes and Ladders game board, a plastic spoon.

April 2014
Fiction

The Boy Behind The Tree

My father and I were on the third tee at Wildwood Golf Course when a boy in a red golf shirt stepped from behind an oak tree next to the ball washer. “Mind if I join you?” he asked.

April 2008
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

In The House Of Magic And Sorrow

Dogs on roofs. I noticed them the first time I visited my girlfriend in Chiquimula, a large town in the dry, eastern part of Guatemala: Small black dogs, beady-eyed and yappy. Collies with lion-like manes. German shepherds with enormous tails. They peered over the roof edges, growling, barking, or silent and majestic against the blue sky.

June 2003
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Giving

My mother insisted on visiting me in Guatemala, where I was working as a Peace Corps volunteer, despite my exaggerated warnings about how difficult — how incommodious, how dangerous, even — life there was. I knew my scare tactics would fail; had I been a soldier in a war, my mother would have parachuted into my foxhole.

June 2000
Fiction

The Bribe

Grace and I had agreed to pick up Paul at the airport in Guatemala City. Suzie, Paul’s girlfriend and our fellow Peace Corps volunteer, had to build chicken coops in a village near Santiago and couldn’t leave in time to meet him, so she’d asked us to go in her place.

September 1999
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Night On The Beach

To celebrate the arrival of the new year, Grace and I went to the south coast with our friend Pete. We stayed only a short walk from the beach, in a house that belonged to Andrew, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who had flown home for the holidays.

November 1998
Fiction

The Eye Man

“Darn,” said the eye man. “Darn.” He ran a hand through his long black hair and shook his head. “OK,” he finally said. “OK, OK, OK. Here it is, right? Here it is: I can’t make eyes that will help her son see. No, I can’t do that. But I will make him eyes that will help everyone else see.”

February 1996
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