Andrew Bertaina's short story collection One Person Away From You (2021) won the Moon City Press Fiction Award (2020). His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Witness Magazine, Redivider, Orion, and The Best American Poetry and notable at Best American Essays 2020. He has an MFA from American University.
Book Launch at Busboys and Poets in Takoma DC happening on August 18th at 6:30p
“Andrew Bertaina is a fantastically talented writer, and the stories in One Person Away From You are endlessly inventive, formally surprising, and as funny as they are moving. Prepare to be overwhelmed by Bertaina’s endless imagination, which offers nothing less than excess and delight on every page.”
—Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
“Each story in Andrew Bertaina’s One Person Away From You is a shimmering monument to the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day. Seeing our own lies unfold on the page, the reader glimpses a world where we do not merely live and die alone, which might be Bertaina’s greatest trick. His stories are that blend of invasive and cathartic that only seems to exist in worthy short fiction. Beautiful, somber, heartbreaking life in motion.
—Seth Borgen, author of If I Die in Ohio
“With an enormous generosity of spirit crossing epochs of history, Andrew Bertaina’s One Person Away From You offers prose poems, flash fictions, journalistic parodies, and fabulist histories that often begin with some premise or conceit from a known form, which they deflect or redirect, ingeniously insisting in subtle ways, “this isn’t one of those stories.” In one piece, a writer’s new partner transforms a novel that was written before they met; in another an ancient map creates its own sea, in worlds where it’s the imagination proves the determinant of experience, rather than the reverse. Masterful pieces include ‘A Translator’s Note,’ ‘A Preface to the Third Edition’, ‘Winter in the City’, and ‘Maybe This Time’. Bertaina’s work continues in the tradition of Hemingway’s ‘A Very Short Story’ from In Our Time, but with a fabulist lens, and with a contemporary edge that incorporates Tinder, middle class life, Cosmopolitan, and the movies into the fairy tale. I am so moved by this work, its intelligence and range, which is rivaled only by the tenderness and poignancy of the writing.”
—David Keplinger, author of The World to Come
“One Person Away From You asks the big questions: of life and death, love and loss, God and nothingness. Bertaina writes with the mind of a philosopher and the soul of a poet. These stories are intimate, expansive, and wondrous.”
—Jennifer Wortman, author of This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love.