"Juan Reyes’s dazzling novella A Summer’s Lynching begins with a single death. But that death carries little of the typical mysteries of why and how. Instead, we soon discover that the right question is what: What happens afterward when the streets fill with watchers, wonderers? What theories pass between them there and as they return to their apartments and libraries and police stations and churches? What do they expect once the body is removed, the room cleaned, the electricity restored, the paperwork filed, the soapboxes stepped upon and left empty again? In Reyes’s vision, the answer is that the grief of not knowing equals story, and story equals hallucination, and hallucination becomes atmosphere."

–Lucas Southworth, author of Everyone Here Has a Gun

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Juan Carlos Reyes has published the novella A Summer's Lynching (Quarterly West) and the fiction chapbook Elements of a Bystander (Arcadia Press). His stories, poems and essays have appeared in Florida Review, Waccamaw Journal, and Hawai’i Review, among others. He has been the recipient of the Gar LaSalle Artist Trust Storytller Award, a PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellowship, and a Jack Straw Writers Fellowship. He received his MFA from The University of Alabama and has taught poetry and fiction with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project. He sits on the board of the Seattle City of Literature organization and serves as an Assistant Professor of creative writing at Seattle University. He also serves as the chief editor of Big Fiction magazine (bigfictionmagazine.com).


In the end, the city that Reyes builds is a lot like our own: it’s too big to comprehend, but too small to truly lose oneself in. In a city, nobody is really a stranger to anyone else. We’re all interconnected in one way or another, even if we’re cloaked in anonymity. If you stay in a city long enough, the body in the boiler room will likely belong to you.


Seattle Review of Books