At Times both funny and heartbreaking, Adam Gallari’s debut collection, We Are Never as Beautiful as We Are Now, offers a series of nine emotionally rich and incisive stories that follow characters grappling with the unanswerable question “What next?” A sudden encounter conjures a failed relationship. A minor league pitcher, in the twilight of a career that never was, tries to divine his future. A young man accompanies his veteran neighbor and father to a V.F.W. a few years after refusing to attend Annapolis. Stoicism and grit belie the vulnerability of people ultimately searching for someone or something to trust in.
Though his literary forbearers may be Richard Ford and Ernest Hemingway, Adam Gallari re-examines the masculine with a deftness and a grace entirely his own.