What Are You Afraid Of?
Powerful and haunting, the ten stories of this debut collection imagine
a world where dreams and reality merge, often with dangerous
consequences. Michael Hyde explores the relationships between illusion
and reality, delusion and clarity, as his characters come to realize
that the revelations they wholeheartedly pursue are often not the ones
that await them and will move them. A teenage girl obsessed with the
death of a classmate hopes to become the killer’s next victim, a wayward
graveyard attendant punishes the dead for his punishments in life, and a
ghostly vision in a garden shed offers a catalyst for one woman’s
“Michael Hyde’s stories are strangely satisfying and satisfyingly
strange. They combine the gothic sensibility of Flannery O’Connor and
the restrained prose of Raymond Carver. These are tales of
love-in-extremis. They should be taken as a tonic before bedtime, to
stir up our dreams and awaken our compassion.” —Sharon Oard Warner,
judge, author of Learning to Dance and Deep in the Heart
“Katherine Anne Porter would be thrilled that Michael Hyde is winning an
award in her name. His work is marked by the precision of language she
so prized, and his forebears are writers she nurtured and cherished.
This collection is strong, original, and precious.” —Mary Gordon,
author of Pearl and Final Payments
“A brilliant debut, a delightfully harrowing read, and a herald of great
things to come. Hyde’s stories take no prisoners.” —Pinckney A.
Benedict, author of Town Smokes and The Wrecking Yard
The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction is awarded annually to
a collection of short-shorts, short stories, or a novella. The winner
receives $1,000 and publication by the University of North Texas Press.