Terence Clarke

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New York



(Photo by Kevin Footer)

Published November 1, 2017

New York City provides the setting for each of these fourteen vivid stories. In one, an attorney’s stony heart begins to soften the day he is attacked by a homeless man on the High Line. In another, a world-class ballerina’s love is won and lost…and lost again. In yet another, Bouquet, a celebrated fashion photographer, ponders the picture she took in war of an orphaned boy in the Peruvian Andes. Pat, a so-so novelist, finally discovers his muse on the uptown 1 train at Canal Street. Rodney, a Cuban refugee, mourns his father Wilfredo and the wonders of Wilfredo’s splendid music.


“This gem of a collection by Terence Clarke celebrates the art, passions, and people of New York City. After a brief, sweet look at inadvertent eavesdropping on mass transit and the kindness of strangers in “Everyone in L.A.,” Clarke begins in earnest with “The High Line.” He uses this uniquely New York landmark as the linchpin of connections between the robustly American New York and the New York that is a microcosm of the world, in this case bringing together corporate lawyer A. Pollard O’Rourke and the Dominican-American former goatherd Eshu Basoalto. Each story that follows is suffused with love of one form or another, whether it be romance or deep-felt caring for others. Art, too, fills these pages, ranging from the delicious but simple culinary creations in “The Sandwich” to abstract sculpture in “Thank You, Pierre-Auguste.” War is also a theme throughout: it shatters the lives of characters as different as Coptic Egyptian sandwich maker Muhammad, Argentine banker Romero Heflin, and photographer Bouquet Alonso. There are no weak stories here.” —Publishers Weekly

“Tales like these feel like new takes on classic stories of New York by Salinger or Capote—fine company, all in all. ‘My Beautiful Francisco,’ in particular, with its Spence School girls and polo matches in the Hamptons, is a charming homage to Salinger’s Upper East Side. But Clarke is most successful when he tackles more modern New York characters. ‘Thank You, Pierre-Auguste’ is an appealing love story set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in which a successful sculptor falls in love with a divorcée-turned-baker and embraces new artistic media. It’s a timeless romance set in a fiercely contemporary situation. Similarly, ‘The Three-Cornered Hat’ takes a 21st-century figure as its protagonist—a startup founder—and sends him o an awkward evening of tango dancing in the Meatpacking District. This enjoyable collection captures an authentic charm and should please any avid reader of stories of the city of New York.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Terence Clarke’s collection of short stories will delight New York aficionados, wherever they live. Clarke captures the beat of New York City life, with its special flavor, history, and variety. I especially liked the picture of goats grazing on the elevated tracks before they became the High Line.”—Marilyn Yalom, author of Compelled to Witness: Women’s Memoirs of the French Revolution and How the French Invented Love

“Terence Clarke’s style in this superb collection of short stories is radiantly entertaining while retaining that superb degree of sophistication that the great ones own. It is that sort of pungent peek into today’s world that makes his works so right. All have their flavor and should be read at ease – urban vignettes that capture the lives of the unique citizens of New York. Tasty and thoroughly entertaining, Terence Clarke can become addictive!” —Grady Harp, Amazon Top 100 reviewer

“These stories are fantastic. Clarke’s gifts as a writer shine brightly.” —Matt James, Amazon reader review

Individual stories:

“’Bouquet’ is what short stories should be like! In less than 50 pages, I was given an in-depth portrait of a woman who feels so real and who has such a rich story to tell and live. Not only is the present day story intricate and interesting, but the story of Bouquet’s time in Peru is heart wrenching. Short stories don’t do that anymore! The writing itself is genuine, moving, and a must-read. Terence Clarke has an amazing writing career ahead of him if he not only repeats the brilliance here in ‘Bouquet,’ but also grows with time and exceeds the limits. I will definitely be coming back for more!” —Samantha Colville, Readers’ Favorite

 “For me ‘Everyone in L.A.’ is a story about the clarity of the heart. Every day we compose crazy stories about the people and circumstances we encounter, based on the smallest fragments of information. After listening at some length to the fanciful ‘perceptions’ of an eavesdropping commuter, the reader witnesses the true insightfulness of the heart. A sweet story.” —John Campbell, Amazon reader

“Terence Clarke’s ‘Everyone in L.A.’ is a clever, witty, and wonderful short story about chance encounters, and how even the most negligible moments can have a resonating impact on our daily lives.  The main character, Pat, is a writer himself who tugs us into visions fueled by both classic literature and New Hollywood creativity.” —Goodreads

“In ‘Andrea’s Hand,’ Declan, a reporter for The New York Times, meets Andrea Villalta, a painter, in Central Park one afternoon. He is fascinated by her and plucks up the courage to speak to her as she sits by a statue in the Conservatory Garden. Their relationship grows, but is overshadowed by Andrea’s hidden secret about her twisted fingers, which pain her when she paints her remarkable works. When Andrea finally sums up the courage to tell Declan her story, will she be able to cope with her emotions enough to allow herself to love? ‘Andrea’s Hand’ is a simply beautiful, well-crafted short story.” —Heather Osborne, Readers’ Favorite



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