Father Brother Keeper, Nathan Poole
Stories set in rural Georgia investigate small moments that illuminate life-altering struggles: A man slipping into dementia is abandoned at a diner with his granddaughters; a boy descendent of farmers discovers his love of carving wooden birds but buries his creations in shame; bait dogs are left to die, chained in the woods, when they grow too old to fight.
Nathan Poole’s debut story collection, Father, Brother, Keeper, won the 2013 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, selected by Edith Pearlman. Poole is also the recipient of the 2012 Narrative Prize and served as the Milton Post Graduate Fellow in Writing at Image Journal during the 2013-2014 academic year. Before the fellowship, he’d never lived outside his native Columbia, SC, except for the Warren Wilson College low-residency program, where he received his MFA in fiction. He considers himself an amateur dendrologist and theologian, and has worked as a carpenter and plumber most of his adult life. “Writing became my vocation, long before I could actually do it,” he notes. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including, The Kenyon Review, Narrative Magazine, The Chattahoochie Review, Image, Nat.Brut. Quarterly, The Lumiere Reader, Strangers Magazine, Drum Literary Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post.
Praise for Father Brother Keeper:
"Heartfelt, lyrical, and moving, the stories of Father Brother Keeper evoke a world so powerfully that you will feel the texture of your life alter while you’re immersed in it. This is a remarkable book, and it announces the arrival of brilliant young writer."
"Father Brother Keeper is marvelous. To read the work of Nathan Poole is to discover an immense, beautiful secret, rich with private histories and the rhythms of our complex, haunted world. These are stories to cherish, a debut to celebrate."
“Somber, beautifully wrought and closely observed, these 12 stories raise more questions than answers, leave out more than they say. As the title suggests, the characters’ lives are steeped in familial conflicts that test their faith in and love for each other.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“This moving debut collection examines complicated family relationships in the rural American South.... The book is unified by a theme of sons and daughters succeeding their father.... This is a fine collection, rich with symbolism and rhythmic prose.”