The stories in this collection by Dan Crawley fit together like beautiful puzzle pieces to create a portrait of a broken family on the world’s worst road trip: a father dragging his wife and children into his dreams; a mother wishing for her own kind of freedom; their children, trapped in their parents’ narrative, wanting to create their own. Each piece is its own story, powerful in its own right, but together they create a beautiful, heartbreaking whole.
— Cathy Ulrich, author of Ghosts of You
As if it were some rediscovered Raymond Carver manuscript, this is a classic novella-in-flash in the mainstream American tradition. A working class family try to keep themselves afloat, travelling the country by car after the father quits his job. The writing is warmly affectionate towards the characters even though they’re flawed. There’s an appealing, breezy, summery quality even though real tension bubbles up – it feels like an authentic family dynamic. Some bond of grudging love is keeping this family together, even though they’re stretched to breaking point. Each flash has the clarity of a distinct memory – like each one might be a family legend. A vivid and highly effective novella-in-flash.
— Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge
I admire the agility and surprise, the ferocity of this book’s verbal sleights of hand, Straight Down the Road is so wonderfully inventive, and emotionally precise. Crawley’s stories contain speaker’s voices that don’t suppress, voices and conflicts that brim with verve, rueful humor, and a new topography between head and heart. This is a writer who pressures language and transforms into improvisational, masterfully controlled, and yet fragile constructions. An intensely gripping collection.
— Robert Vaughan, author of Funhouse, EIC of Bending Genres
This novella-in-flash chronicles a joyful family road trip that quickly gives way to instability and uncertainty. Unmoored, and with an increasingly threadbare safety net beneath them, a couple and their gaggle of kids have no choice but to keep moving. Told with exquisite attention to detail, and an eye for all that is peculiar, arresting, and emblematic of America in the 70s, Dan Crawley’s Straight Down the Road is a gorgeous and unforgettable debut.
— Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works
Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-91-96; 196mm x 134mm; 68pp