eightball strikes hard. Fueled by an abiding sense of loss, these eight stories take you on a journey over the exploded fault lines of intimacy, unfolding across cities and continents. Whether hitchhiking the Italian Veneto, trekking through a pitch-black Balinese rice field, or queuing for drinks in a crowded Seattle bar, Geoghegan sets her characters adrift in a world that stakes its claim to the enigmatic terrain of desire.
This collection of darkly comic, occasionally violent, tales is anchored by the eponymous “eightball,” a coming of age novella about a sister and brother guided by the inertia of recklessness and self-destruction. A protégé of the late Lucia Berlin, Elizabeth Geoghegan writes lyric, place-driven prose laced with edgy realism and wry wit.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Geoghegan was born in New York, grew up in the Midwest, and lives in Rome. She is the author of Natural Disasters and the bestselling memoir The Marco Chronicles. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Best Travel Writing, El Pais, and elsewhere.
“Geoghegan’s eloquently told stories examine themes of loneliness, sex, addiction, and grief through the lens of unfamiliar cultures and languages. The thread that holds it all together is Geoghegan’s cool, articulate demeanor and masterful writing.”
“A masterful collection laced with dark humor, aching grief and great tenderness. Geoghegan’s stories take us around the world, from a beach house on the Atlantic all the way to Bali and Rome and the quiet power of her voice reaches both heart and bone.”
—Francesca Marciano, author of The Other Language, Rules of The Wild, The End of Manners, and Casa Rossa
“Elizabeth Geoghegan’s Eightball is a sonograph to a woman’s heart a passport to the present where, just like that, we gain entry to all we have misunderstood about what it is to be intimately human. Adult, extreme, crushing and crashing and kissing all over the world, Geoghegan’s prose in this collection is heartbreakingly good with its heavy imprint on the soul and tender release of story which pay attention to all the signs of life we miss and submerge: here we can dive, safe and sure, to increase our own depths. Eightball develops a commonly-felt sense of alienation into an aesthetic of loss and longing, where with mordant wit Geoghegan delivers a velveteen narration of lives locked and constrained then unbound. The story is always the thing, but the telling has its own special musicality, ambitiously symphonic, yet the reading makes you feel quietly beheld, chambered. Eightball explores the gendered and nationed ways we get stuck as people, and the dreams that deliver us, or entrap us afresh. Like letters written to Santa by someone we all know with a list we fully covet, Eightball’s magical thinking leaves me wonderstruck. If Lucia Berlin is early Patti Smith, then Elizabeth Geoghegan is Blondie and Joan Jett and Florence and the Machine in one big literary sandwich.”
—Susan Bradley Smith, author of The Postcult Heart, The Screaming Middle, and Beds For All Who Come