Novels and Short Story Collections

“What an exhilarating, intelligent, beautifully complicated novel. I love how richly peopled it is and I love the exact New England landscapes… But I think what made me read this book in a single sitting was the voice and the way in which it allowed me both to know and to not know Kristin, Matt and Cal. That combination makes The Realm of Last Chances wonderfully suspenseful. Every character has a secret sorrow.” -- Margot Livesey

“Steve Yarbrough stands among the first rank of contemporary novelists, and stands alone with the deep compassion and humanity he brings to his characters and their stories. The Realm of Last Chances is what all novels strive to be — boldly provocative, reflective, witty, and wise, and deeply insightful of the outer and inner workings of people, couples and communities, muddling along through life together. This novel is that rare achievement, a page-turner that also turns pages within the reader.” -- Jeffrey Lent

“Here's a riddle. What happens when you turn loose a world-class southern writer in an old New England town and tell him to have at it? Answer: Steve Yarbrough's magnificent new novel is what happens. The Realm of Last Chances reveals how it's not just Faulkner territory where the past isn't past, as Yarbrough explores the way one's family and community can both condemn and redeem us all, wherever we live. This beautifully-written story is the most honest, insightful, and, ultimately, affirmative novel about love under great stress that I've read in years.” -- Howard Frank Mosher



"A satisfying, deftly constructed narrative that contemplates the difficulty with which we shed our ties to history ... [An] intricate, absorbing tale."
-- Washington Post

"Yarbrough, who has been likened to Faulkner for his attention to Mississippi ... nimbly illustrates what the past can tell us about the present."
-- New York Times Book Review

"Yarbrough's lines can stop you in your tracks."
-- Florida Times-Union

"Steve Yarbrough is a masterful storyteller -- one of our finest -- and Safe From the Neighbors is a masterpiece."
-- Jill McCorkle

"Safe From the Neighbors
is a novel of unusual richness and depth, one that's as wise about the small shocks within a marriage as it is about the troubled history of Mississippi. Steve Yarbrough is a formidably talented novelist."
-- Tom Perrotta

"Safe From the Neighbors does what only the best novels can do; after reading it, we can never see the world, or ourselves, in quite the same way."
-- Ron Rash

"Safe From the Neighbors will take your breath away. Ambitious, funny, sad and beautifully crafted, it's everything a novel should be."
-- Richard Russo

The End of California (2006)

"One of the brightest Southern writers since Pat Conroy ... an evocative portrait of a place and people [who are] every bit as complex as Faulkner's"
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution


"Compelling ... Yarbrough has a keen ear [and] a sharp eye for changes in the cultural landscape."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review


"Graceful, precise and packed with surprises."
-- Washington Post


"For a writer, a small town is a narrow well, but an exceedingly deep one. Nobody understands this better than Steve Yarbrough does. Many of us have been wondering what became of Loring, Mississippi -- Yarbrough's Yoknapatawpha. The End of California is a profoundly satisfying answer to that question."
-- Jennifer Haigh


"Anybody who thinks the Mississippi Delta has given up all its secrets need to read Steve Yarbrough, especially this new one. It's scary and wonderful, true to the bone and his best yet."
-- Beverly Lowry


 

Prisoners of War (2004)


"Yarbrough writes with quiet compassion ... [about] what it means to be an American, and all the unexpected -- and often unwarranted -- sacrifices that identity might entail."
-- New York Times Book Review

"The highest kind of art, full of subtlety and sensitivity."
-- Dallas Morning News

"Vivid and dramatic ... Prisoners of War is smart and entertaining."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"With subtlety, compassion and detachment Yarbrough teases out the notion that the line separating those who can be saved from those who cannot is very fine and too easily crossed."
-- Memphis Commercial Appeal

"What a stunning, cathartic, body blow of a novel. If this one doesn't put Yarbrough on the map, we ought to change maps."
-- Tom Franklin



Visible Spirits (2001)

"Invites comparison with Faulkner's greatest novels."

-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A compelling look at moral courage ... The place, people, events, and emotions are so authentic, it's hard to believe the story is fiction."
-- USA Today

"A powerful tale ... A skillful interweaving of complicated relationships to family and history."
-- Washington Post

"Yarbrough's story, full of well-rounded characters wrestling with family secrets and sexual jealousy, is compelling throughout."
-- The Times of London

"Steve Yarbrough is a confident and elegant prose stylist and a storyteller who knows how empty spaces can resonate with power and meaning. It is the unspoken, the invisible and the unacknowledged that give this novel its dramatic complexity, its profound force and depth of feeling."
-- David Guterson

"A powerful novel that lays the guilt down freshly in a story that's irresistible and, finally, howling to be told. True Art."
-- Barry Hannah

"In clean elastic prose, Steve Yarbrough has fashioned a rich dark fable out of his Mississippi material -- a fable whose moral applies as much today as it would have in the yesterday it's written about."
-- Kent Haruf


 The Oxygen Man (1999)

"Positively sparkles with soul and feeling ... A first novel to be treasured."
-- USA Today

"A clear-eyed, expertly written first novel."
-- Time Magazine


"The Oxygen Man is a deeply felt book about novel choices and the destinies created by those choices and by circumstances beyond our control: our class, our race, the time and place we're born."
-- Chicago Tribune


"A stunning novelistic debut ... Yarbrough is a major talent."
-- James Lee Burke





  Veneer: Stories (1998)

"In his second collection of short fiction, Steve Yarbrough offers nine comfortably shaped tales. Set mostly in the South, particularly Mississippi, and told mostly in the first person, these stories have the ease of yarns spun on front porches -- the sentences ring softly in clear, uncomplicated tones."
-- New York Times Book Review

"Steve Yarbrough's magnificent Southern landscape has new highways, new money, espresso, some fancy architecture, and pretty much the same old grit and evil. To read Yarbrough's new collection of stories is to see precisely where we are."
-- William Harrison

"Like all the most talented writers, Steve Yarbrough just keeps getting better and better."
-- Larry Brown


  Mississippi History: Stories (1994)

"These are 'real people,' as politicians might say: they worry about mortgage payments, health care costs and losing their jobs as tenant farmers, store clerks, factory workers and teachers. They are God-fearing but practical, likely to choose a plastic wreath to lay on a grave "because it can be used again next year.'"
-- New York Times Book Review


"Steve Yarbrough's stories draw their considerable power from his ability to look at the facts of the case, his refusal to exaggerate, and his plainspoken but vivid style. Mississippi History is a pungent and memorable book. His characters may sometimes be loser, but they are never wimps. In their struggles we see what large truths they create."
-- Fred Chappell

"Mississippi History is a treasure."
-- Louis Nordan




  Family Men: Stories (1990)

"Thank heaven for work like Brother Yarbrough's -- fiction fine and wise enough to keep an acre of angels sitting and dancing till dawn."
-- Lee K. Abbott





Short Stories and Contributions

Delta Deep Down (2008) Introduction