Home The Cloud Atlas All Saints About Liam

Events :: PR & Contact Info :: To Purchase


A Midwest Connections Pick!


About the book


Liam Callanan, author of the critically acclaimed novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints, returns with a short story collection that crosses decades, oceans and continents in pursuit of stories that, like its title suggests, are more than worthy of a listen.

Praise "Over and over Callanan finds that moment when a character's past, their deepest longings, their most intimate fears, emerge from the flood-waters of daily life and stand exposed. These richly imagined and beautifully written stories transport the reader from TV studios to lonely woods, from an old convent to a new gym, from war-time Alaska to the beach at Santa Monica. The result is a wonderfully readable and hugely pleasurable collection." —Margot Livesey, The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"What a wide-ranging, inventive collection Liam Callanan has given us. In page after page, he conjures striking characters and places—recent and historical, domestic and foreign—that quickly grow visceral and real. Listen to these lovely stories, indeed; each one is memorable, and each one different from the last." —Alix Ohlin, Inside and Signs and Wonders

"Here is what makes these stories necessary and timeless: Liam Callanan's incisive ability to render not just our desires and the choices we make to fulfill or thwart those desires, but the mystery behind those choices. These stories glow, backlit by the author's generous and discriminating vision, his ability to contrast doubt and faith in our actions and interactions, all in the service of an abiding grace. And lest all of the above sound unduly serious, let me assure you: there is humor here of the most vital stripe, wherein halfway through your laughter you realize you're laughing not only at the characters, but at your own foolish, if well-intentioned, ways." —Michael Parker, All That I Have in This World

"When I finished Listen, I felt I knew something about the richness in quiet moments of decision—the layers of desire and memory behind a person’s apparently simple actions…. Listen encourages empathy more than other work I’ve read lately. It is an occasion for readers to transform…." –Gulf Coast Journal

"A scout who hoarded candy faces the wrath of a bear. A sister's jealousy has fatal consequences. A TV station's arts critic refuses to join a tradition of going pantsless on an anchor's last day. A lot of the folks in Liam Callanan's fine new collection of stories are on the cusp of making important decisions. And perhaps those decisions are a bit constricting, and just to amplify that point , a number of characters are physically trapped, whether in a locked mausoleum, a tent with a ferocious bear outside, a dilapidated convent on fire, or in a home being flooded by dam. Past decisions are equally debilitating, and that sometimes leads to an attempt to preserve the lost, perhaps through their voices, or their breath. Whatever their foibles, it's hard not to connect with the life-infused characters of Listen and Other Stories, blessed as they are with the author's grace and good humor." —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee)

"I picked up this book to get a feel for the type of short stories Liam was writing. I was about to host his event, but I didn't have time to read the whole thing. So, I read "Listen," the title story, and immediately knew that this was an amazing book. I started at the beginning and could not put it down. These stories are beautiful, shocking, concise, and compelling. Each story has its own reasons to read and love, but the collection as a whole gives such a breadth of human existence and style. I found it irresistible. For something not being on my to-read list to being one that I feel urged to recommend is surprising to me. Read Listen & Other Stories." —Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books (St. Louis)

"My father spent a good portion of his career with a tape deck slung over his shoulder," says the narrator in the title tale of this diverse and satisfying collection of stories. The book revolves around the narrator's father, a sound engineer, and a recording made of the narrator's mother before she died, in which she releases an 'eerie, penetrating tear' of a scream. Within this haunting sound, one could find, writes Callanan, 'the DNA of that world's entire moment.' It's an apt description of Callanan's own skill, which he displays in stories about death, love, loneliness, and, ultimately, the human condition."—Yale Alumni Magazine

Liam Callanan's "stories have a great way of getting under the skin and lingering beyond the final page. With great compassion for his characters, Callanan meets them at a series of critical points, getting into their heads with precision and finding warmth, humor, sorrow, grief, and fear."—Timothy Day, Washington Independent Review of Books

"Three Great New Midwest Books for April" —Erika Janik, Wisconsin Public Radio

"100 Books for your Summer Reading List"—Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel




Past events in italics; check back or visit my Twitter feed for updates.

November 4, 2016 7p: reading with Paul Otremba at Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN

April 21, 2016 7p: Fox Valley Book Festival (location: Thomas A. Lyons Fine Books), Neenah, WI

March 30, 2016, 9a: The English Bookshop, Stockholm, Sweden

February 18, 2016, 6p: Reader's Loft, Green Bay, WI

January 21, 2016, 7p: Thomas A. Lyons Fine Books, Neenah, WI

November 7, 9 a.m.: Reading with mighty Jennifer Morales, Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, Waukesha, WI

October 30, 4p: Class (click link to learn more/register) at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Denver, CO

October 29, 7p: BookBar, Denver, CO

October 28, 7p: Jackalope Reading Series @ Second Story Books, Laramie, WY

October 2, 7p: AllWriters' Workshop, Friday Night Reading Series, Waukesha, WI

October 1, 4:30p: University of Southern Indiana (Student Union, second floor), Evansville, IN

September 30, 7:30p: Reading at University of Notre Dame with Valerie Sayers, Notre Dame, IN

July 11, 1p: Vroman's, Pasadena, CA

July 9, 7p: Why There Are Words Reading Series, Sausalito, CA

June 14, 3p: Dragonfly Books (held at Java John's), Decorah, IA

June 12, 4p: North American Review Bicentennial Conference, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

June 7, 2p: with Lizzie Skurnick's That Should Be a Word cavalcade, Printers Row LitFest Center Stage

May 23, 12-1p: booksigning,The Yale Bookstore, New Haven, CT

May 20, 2015, 8:30p: Reading with Jared Paul & friends, Aurora Providence, Providence, RI

May 9, 2015, 6p: Bonk! Reading Series, Racine, WI

May 7, 2015, 6p: McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

May 5, 2015, 5p: FWB Gala, Poets House, New York, NY

April 23, 2015, 7p: Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO

April 19, 2015, 7p: KGB Bar Sunday Night Fiction, New York, NY

April 17, 2015, 7p: Politics & Prose, Washington, DC

April 16, 2015, 7p: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

April 15 2015, 3p: Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD

April 14, 2015, 7p: The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore, MD

April 10, 2015, 2p: AWP Book Fair signing, Minneapolis, MN

March 27, 2015, 7p (Official Launch!): Boswell Books & Co., Milwaukee, WI

March 19-21, 2015: LitFest, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

January 2015: Warren Wilson MFA Program public reading series, Swannanoa, NC


(This very sunny book trailer -- I apologize for squinting; too much time at the computer -- was made by my talented brother. We put the water back after filming. Location credit: Camano Island, Washington.) 

Publicity For more information, please contact Liam or Four Way Books. (Or you can download directly from here the publisher's press release, an author photo and a hi-res book jacket image.)