Books by Mark Jude Poirier

Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"An enjoyably irreverent diversion."
Novelists King (Double Feature, 2013, etc.) and Poirier (Modern Ranch Living, 2004, etc.) team up with debut artist Ahn for a graphic novel that's a madcap tale of college cliques, girl power, and oversexed body snatchers.Read full book review >
MODERN RANCH LIVING by Mark Jude Poirier
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Bad vibes and sadistic fantasies are all that keep this limp story afloat."
Trying times in Tucson for a teenager and her neighbor. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2001

"When Poirier drops the cleverness, he can delve powerfully into characters dangerously out of touch with themselves. "
On the heels of his first novel (Goats, 2001), Poirier returns with a second story collection (after Naked Pueblo, 1999) centered, as the title implies, on offbeat entrepreneurs and their descendants. Read full book review >
GOATS by Mark Jude Poirier
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"In the absence of complex or sympathetic characters, the brightest lights here are the ones that hover just over a bowl of weed, duly inhaling and holding their breaths for the 90 seconds it takes to glean enlightenment from this coming-of-age tale."
First-novelist Poirer (Naked Pueblo, 1999) offers up a desultory combination of the world-weary and the preposterous: a 14-year-old wiser than any adult, a western boy's disenchantment with "sophisticated" life at an eastern prep school, and an eccentric doper who serves as his world's moral center. Read full book review >
NAKED PUEBLO by Mark Jude Poirier
Released: Oct. 6, 1999

Poirier's first collection, stories of young people in Tucson, begins with excessive cuteness, but as his interest in self- conscious novelty declines, the emotional density increases, making for an unevenly satisfying volume. Poirier starts too many of these 12 roughly linked tales like this: "She was called Jackpot because when she was born, sixty- one cents" worth of coins slid out of her mother's cooch," and "Camping on the hill wasn—t that bad except for the stories of Sugar, the demented, fat brown bear who had supposedly raped a girl in "85." After making his point that weird people merit being written about, Poirier digs a little deeper and finds rewarding material. Each of these pieces features young men and women who drink and drug too much, suffer dysfunctional families, and live in vague proximity to college, yet are capable of the Young Writer's stock-in-trade: the privately touching, miniature epiphany. "Chigger," a hair-covered youth, turns up in a couple of places, as does his mother, Mary, "the Monkey Lady." The narrator'sometimes a sidekick to Chigger, sometimes a winsomely observant third person—tells these tales with a trained fluidity, and in "Tilt-A-Whirl," when he describes how Mary lost her leg, and how Chigger subsequently buried it, he achieves an affecting, heartfelt power. In one of the strongest tales, "La Zona Roja," he recalls his brother's death after falling short on a roof dive into a pool. When asked about it by a stranger, he says, "That's not really what happened." This is apt'suggesting the unspoken things that insulate loss and keep us silent—but is rare here and lends a scattershot quality to the selections. The reader is as likely to finish a story with a groan as with a sigh. One hopes Poirier's enrollment in the Girl-With-Green- Hair school of fiction will expire and free him to explore the emotional candor that is his strength. Read full book review >