Houses From Another Street


In the autumn of 1979, Will is a freshman at Payne High School in Centertown, Texas. As events in Iran play out on TV screens, Will scrambles to evade bullies on the football team, to avoid getting caught between his bickering parents, and to balance his crush on Mrs. Jansen (a young teacher) with his secret passion for his aloof and intimidating neighbor, Nicole. The novel’s title is taken from Robert Frost’s poem, “Acquainted with the Night,” and it suggests Will’s comfort with being out when others are asleep, when he can move around without being seen and when the strange qualities of light can make it hard to see clearly.


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“In the stream of Trinity River consciousness, Dusters and Darts, Sunbirds and Celicas, a susurration of Stevens, a dithyramb of Dickinson, cantiones of Keats, and above all, frissons of Frost, the agony and the ecstasy of the quarter-miler, the banal evil of high school hallways, the petty anger of the father and then white hot wrath, the teacher of English against whose call the narrator fails to tie himself to the mast… the idea of a river hardly does justice to Houses from Another Street. There is something very powerful at work here that I can’t easily describe, but the shorthand is “physical intellect.” And man, it just makes me feel good again about American ?ction, after a very long estrangement.”—Gary Amdahl, author of Visigoth and Across My Big Brass Bed

Michael Thurston has taught at Smith College since 2000. He teaches courses on 20th-century poetry in English, modernism, American literature and American studies. In 2010, he was awarded Smith’s Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching; it is the professional achievement of which he is most proud.

Thurston has published three previous books: Reading Postwar British and Irish Poetry, The Underworld in Twentieth-Century Poetry: From Pound and Eliot to Heaney and Walcott, and Making Something Happen: American Political Poetry between the World Wars. His short fiction has appeared in apt, Confrontation, Cupboard, Fringe, Knock, Quick Fiction and Southeast Review. With Andrea Stone, he published a poetry chapbook, The Tibetan for Bada Bing (2011). He is currently the reviews editor for the Massachusetts Review. This is his first novel.


Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in
Levellers Press