Big Bend


Title Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 02/15/2014

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4723-3

List Price: $21.95

Big Bend


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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards

Through quirky plots, one-of-kind characters, and more than a few twists, the stories in Big Bend examine gentle-hearted men and their relationships. From made-in-heaven meetings to troublesome liaisons, Roorbach's characters experience romance in unexpected, sometimes disastrous ways.

In "Fog," a teenage boy learns hard lessons about canoes, the Gulf of Maine, sex, and love. A struggling young artist goes home for the holidays in search of succor for the stomach—and heart—with poor results in "Thanksgiving." Other stories recount the ultimately disastrous reunion of estranged friends, an unemployed architect's foolish courting with bad company, and a middle-aged rock star's struggle with the urge to settle down. In the tiitle story, "Big Bend," a grieving widower, troubled by his own waning years, is tempted by a seductively attentive birdwatcher no older than his daughter.

Poignant tales of hauntingly familiar situations, Bill Roorbach's stories are full of heart, romance, edgy humor, and the frequently concealed vulnerability of men.

Immensely appealing . . . Roorbach's tender, affecting stories will leave you feeling as if you've come to understand your own missteps and misjudgments slightly better, and to forgive yourself a little more.


Roorbach is as raw and engaged a writer as you'll ever read . . . He rivals James Baldwin in his ability to miraculously open up rivers of male sentiment.

Los Angeles Weekly

Here comes Bill Roorbach with nine good reasons to find the couch or some big chair. Reading these stories may be the reason we even have some of this furniture. Frankly, I recommend you take them into your house and meet these new people in Big Bend. They are as tender and troubled as we are, as charming, indecisive, nervous, blessed, crazy, and destined to survive, find love, miss it. I've been waiting for these stories for a while now.

—Ron Carlson

Readers will gobble these beautifully wrought, affecting stories, wanting more. . . . Roorbach falls, for me, into that small category of writers whose every book I must read, then reread.

—Jay Parini

An exceptional collection. . . . The characters are like people overheard at the next table or behind you in a line—people you instinctively want to pull for. . . . A quirky, clever, ironic, sympathetic, satisfying group of stories.

—David Walton

Bill Roorbach's stylish writing—with its surprising and generous observations about landscapes, internal and external—makes for great literature. What a pleasure to read these sharp, funny, sexy stories.

—Debra Spark

Roorbach's ability to convey the unexpceted whims of luck and happenstance and irony make these stories, like the best told around firelight or on front porches, take up residence in the listener. He is a storyteller's storyteller.

—Antonya Nelson


Ohioana Book Award, Ohioana Library Association

About the Author/Editor

BILL ROORBACH's newest book, The Girl of the Lake, is a collection of stories that was longlisted for the 2017 Story Prize and finalist for the Maine Literary Award in Fiction, 2017. Also from Roorbach are the novels The Remedy for Love, a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the best-selling Life among Giants, which won a Maine Literary Award in 2012. Nonfiction books include Temple Stream, Summers with Juliet, and Into Woods. Roorbach was a 2018 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow in Umbria. He lives in western Maine.