Queen's Ferry Press

Queen's Ferry Press
8622 Naomi St
Plano, TX 75024


by Aaron Burch


Throughout Aaron Burch’s debut full-length collection of fiction nearly everyone is seeking some kind of perfection. Despite their attempts falling short, going stray, or sometimes not even making it off the ground, they keep swinging—at latent nightmares and glaring domestic lives, at severed limbs and redemptive baptisms, at the awe of what has been taken and the bewilderment over what remains. Nevertheless, in these stories ranging from the magical to realism, from Biblical allegory to everyday relationships, the characters of Backswing, faithful that forward motion will someday strike, keep driving toward grace.

INTERVIEWS for Backswing:

“‘An Object in Motion,’ an outtake from Backswing, by Aaron Burch” in The Nervous Breakdown

“Bodies, Dreams, and Blood: An Interview with Aaron Burch”

—Tobias Carroll for Vol 1. Brooklyn

REVIEWS for Backswing:

“In each of the stories in Backswing, Burch sucks us into a hole and fires literary condors with an elan that makes his drives almost seem easy.”

—Peter Tieryas-Liu for Electric Literature

“Burch has a sly, sometimes acerbic humor and an affection for his quirky characters that manages never to slide into indulgence. The individuals populating these stories (bless their hearts) are everyday people dealing with common problems. The alchemy occurs when these ordinary people are rendered extraordinary by deceptively simple yet evocative language that leaves you startled and then comforted… We identify with these characters because they are us. The supposed banality of average lives is no less profound simply because it happens every day. Backswing is a distinctive and accomplished debut…”

—Michelle Newby for Monkeybicycle

Backswing “features tales of young protagonists alienated, confused, and searching for their identity” and is called, by Publishers Weekly, an “accomplished collection of 14 short stories.”

“With Backswing, Burch reminds us that things can always get darker for those who flee from the real…. Although many of the stories seem fairly straightforward, there's a discomfiting strangeness that's both deep and dark. Burch is particularly adroit at rendering these scenes so that they don't seem strange to their protagonists, and the dislocation can be dizzying.”

—Jim Ruland for San Diego City Beat

Backswing is “a damn good read, brilliant in places, the work of a writer who thrives on taking risks.”

—Jeremy Griffin for Heavy Feather Review

“There is blood in these stories—body parts are severed, a hand, a finger; teeth are dislodged—but the violence is by no means gratuitous. True, these passages and others made me squirm, but only in the best of ways. They grounded me to Burch’s world, its grittiness, its message that even though his characters may be lost, there is still much at stake, and that they are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to achieve the elusive gift of connection.”

—Curtis Smith for Necessary Fiction

PRAISE for Backswing:

“In his new collection, Aaron Burch’s achievement isn’t only in the masterful storytelling, it’s how through each character’s yearning and loneliness he succeeds in making us readers feel less alone. Even in the surreal, the creepy, the sad, the lusting, we recognize ourselves. Backswing is full of characters trying to find themselves, journeys you’ll feel privileged to join.”

—Lindsay Hunter, author of Daddy’s and Don’t Kiss Me

“Reading Backswing, you find yourself laughing, no-waying, reaching out to give bro-hugs and clappy high-fives to an author you swear must be standing beside you, so present is his voice. Burch is the bard of the American dude.”

—Adam Levin, author of The Instructions and Hot Pink

“At the driving range of American fiction, Aaron Burch crushes his stories deep into the haunted night. Backswing is brave and odd and very human.”

—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Subject Steve and The Fun Parts

“Aaron Burch’s Backswing is a terrific debut, fast, funny, at times fantastical, a diverse, deft collection of stories about becoming a man and other unsolvable mysteries.”

—Jess Walter, author of We Live in Water and Beautiful Ruins