UW Press




FaceBook Twitter Tumblr GoodReads UW Press Newsletter

UW Press Blog







UW Madison

American Association of University Presses




Little Reef and Other Stories
Michael Carroll

Terrace Books

Winner, Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, American Academy of Arts and Letters
Finalist, Gay Fiction, Lambda Literary Award
Finalist, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, Publishing Triangle

“Truly bracing in its border-crossing and the wide sweep of spaces it explores, Little Reef and Other Stories is an unblinkered, wide-vista escape from New York–Los Angeles parochialism.”
—Tim Miller, author of 1001 Beds

Little Reef and Other Stories announces the arrival of an original voice in literature. From Key West to Maine, Michael Carroll’s debut collection of stories depicts the lives of characters who are no longer provincial but are not yet cosmopolitan. These women and their gay male friends are “B-listers” of a new, ironic, media-soaked culture. They live in a rich but increasingly divided America, a weirdly paradoxical country increasingly accepting of gay marriage but still marked by prejudice, religious strictures, and swaths of poverty and hopelessness. Carroll shows us people stunned by the shock of the now, who have forgotten their pasts and can’t envision a future.


Michael Carroll. Photo credit: Jonathan Nesteruk.Michael Carroll is a writer whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Ontario Review, Southwest Review, The Yale Review, Open City, and Animal Shelter. He lives in New York.








“An unsettling, compulsively readable, sometimes darkly funny first collection of short stories by a writer who brings to his characters—gay, straight or ambiguous—an unsparing moral vision and an eye for telling detail.”
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide

“Not to be missed, Carroll's brilliant inaugural story collection sets this talented author up for great things to come. . . . The 12 tales in Little Reef and Other Stories were all written within the last decade, and are suffused with crisply articulated characterization and pitch-perfect dialogue. This is a collection to savor and ponder and reflect upon.”
Bay Area Reporter

“Carroll has opened out a space if not yet a landscape for himself, and he has done so with believable dialogue, intriguing characters, and situations that feel free to promise future benefits if not exactly future revelations.”
Out in Print

“Full of crisp dialogue and sharp observations on the media-drenched America of today, Carroll's widely published stories put gay men and their female friends on center stage.”

“Discovers . . . an understanding of human behavior in all its messy, funny, topsy-turvy glory. . . . A standing ovation for Michael Carroll, please, for his exceptional work.”
—Chelsea Station

“An unsettling, compulsively readable, sometimes darkly funny first collection of short stories by a writer who brings to his characters—gay, straight or ambiguous—an unsparing moral vision and an eye for telling detail.”
—Mark Doty, The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide

“These stories, keenly—even cruelly—observant, occupy the verges of love and death where the truest and most recklessly aware emotions abide. Romantic yet bitterly insightful, this is a solid, smart collection.”
—Joy Williams, author of Honored Guest

“A riveting collection. Casually confessional with the mea culpa banished, Little Reef and Other Stories makes new the much explored terrain of New York City and makes the reader feel disturbingly comfortable in unfamiliar places. Here, the dreams of the people conflict with life’s unexpected demands and watchfulness replaces restlessness.”
—Ann Beattie, author of The New Yorker Stories

“The dialogue is pitch-perfect. Little Reef and Other Stories will, of course, appeal to gay readers, but it will also appeal to people who like good writing, or who have a need to read fiction which is set in that dream-space between New York and more traditional American spaces, or in that hazy area between a self in the making and a self already formed.”
—Colm Tóibín, author of The Testament of Mary

Mr. Carroll's world is a little vicious, slippery in its sexuality, discontinuous, fracturing—strangely reminiscent of the hootier, hard-candy end of the Tennessee Williams spectrum. It is flat-out odd, fun, and seeming true.
—Padgett Powell, author of You & Me



Publicity and Press Kit Resources


Click here for current & upcoming UW Press events

Download high resolution cover, color

Download high resolution cover, b/w

Download high resolution author photo, b/w

All images are at least 2.25 inches at 300 dpi wide; current title covers are a minimum of 1500 px wide/6 inches wide at 300 dpi. Please contact us if you need a custom size.


Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@wwwtest.uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)



Little Reef and Other Stories

June 2014
LC: 2013038687 PS
224 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

Book icon
Cloth $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-29740-4
Shopping cart


Review Cart

The Terrace Books logo is designed in the shape of a book with a Union chair in silhouette on the cover. The words Terrace Books, Madison, Wisconsin appear also.