Bodies in Recline

Michael C. Keith

Partly inspired by the acclaimed fiction of Kurt Vonnegut, Joy Williams, and Lydia Davis, Bodies in Recline explores the full range of human emotions and behavior in a style imbued with profound irony and deep humor, with an inclination toward the latter. Powerfully imagined, the pensees in this collection will take the reader on a sojourn across landscapes both exotic and familiar. Bodies in Recline demonstrates the full reach of the author's imagination and creative powers. Keith brings to the reader a singular collection of idiosyncratic and laconic narratives designed to fully engage and provoke. The epigrammatic tales between these covers provide a sometimes numinous often harrowing account of what we do and what we think and what we think we should do.

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“Each glittering facet of the jewel we call Life is given a chance to shine in Michael C. Keith’s excellent Bodies in Recline, from the tawdry to chilling, humorous to romantic, mournful to prescient. Keith is a master jeweler, chipping away all that does not matter, leaving us with a treasure we can enjoy for a long time.” Christopher Reilley, author One Night Stanzas and Breathing for Clouds

“From out of the ordinary to the ordinary, Keith knows how to take us on a journey of the unexpected. His stories are witty, poignant, and daring. He demonstrates that he can write about anything. Keith’s dry humor radiates off the page in Bodies in Recline. This is one of his best books to date. Michael C. Keith is truly the master of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and can give us stories of any length. This book resonates for the reader because we all know someone who he is writing about. It could be your neighbor next door, so you should tell him or her about it.” Gloria Mindock, author of award winning Ash and editor of Červená Barva Press

“The flash fiction pieces contained in Michael C. Keith’s Bodies in Recline reveal the curious, the quirky, and in some cases, the menacing, aspects of daily life. As a result of Keith’s penetrating perspective and skillful writing, we see deftly presented the ironic and the counterintuitive dimensions that inhabit the seeming ordinariness of lived experience. If one of the purposes of excellent fiction is to enable the reader to see the world more acutely, more humorously—and at times, more darkly, than we might reflexively prefer— then Bodies in Recline achieves this and much, much more.” Brad Rose, author of No. Wait. I Can Explain.

Michael C. Keith is the author or coauthor of more than two dozen groundbreaking books on electronic media, among them Waves of Rancor––a book cited by President Clinton for its study of the radical right’s use of audio media. The recipient of numerous awards in the academic field, including the Broadcast Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Radio Television Society’s Stanton Fellow Award, and the University of Rhode Island’s Achievement Award in the Humanities, he is also the author of dozens of articles and short stories and has served in a variety of editorial positions.
Prior to joining Boston College (where he was named Emeritus upon retiring in 2017), Michael served as Chair of Education at the Museum of Broadcast Communications and on the faculties of The George Washington University, Marquette University, and Dean College. He was co-founder of the Broadcast Education Association’s Radio Division and its first chair.
Beyond that, he is the author of an acclaimed memoir, The Next Better Place (Algonquin Books); a young adult novel, Life is Falling Sideways; and 20 story collections. He has been nominated for numerous awards for his fiction and was a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award for short fiction anthology and a finalist for the 2013 International Book Award in the “Fiction Visionary” category. His work has been translated in Greece, Russia, Albania, Spain, Indonesia, and China.