Anthony Varallo’s New Stories Perfect Character

VARALLOCongratulations to Associate Professor Tony Varallo, whose third short story collection Think of Me and I’ll Know was published this fall by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press.

Varallo’s new stories perfect character by offering snaphots of lives that are both flawed and sincere–lives that uncannily reflect back versions of our own selves.

Recently, at his book launch reading, Bret Lott introduced Varallo and his work, saying, “He is an author—an artist—whose way of seeing the rather mundane world we oftentimes take for granted reveals to his readers that that world carries with it unexamined depth, and strange worth.”

Lott continued, “The poet Paul Valery wrote, ‘To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.’ In this he meant that truly coming to know something is to look at it so deeply that its name is forgotten; it becomes itself, its truth, its value, its being. This is what happens in a story by Tony Varallo. He shows us—brings us into the presence of—lives we might otherwise ignore or shrug over or drive by without a glance. Whether an unemployed and ambivalent husband and father whose world is collapsing around him, or a temp worker whose unexplained tears at the workplace won’t explain to her anything of her malaise, or even a girlfriend who bears witness to a creative writing workshop in which her soon to be ex-boyfriend gets skewered, the people in Tony’s stories—for they are people, and not characters—are real, and genuine, and matter.”