In the follow-up to his critically lauded debut An End To All Things, Jared Yates Sexton presents twenty-three new stories that pick up where his first book left off. Whether they're set in a sweat-saturated sparring ring, the backroom of a gas station speakeasy, or in the kitchen of the house down the street, these are glimpses into an America that too-often goes unseen. Witness here the untold tales of the losers and the should've-beens, the dreamers and the hustlers, all of them just spoiling for their turn at glory or the inevitable one-two punch that puts them down for good.
Praise for The Hook and the Haymaker:
"Here he is, the successor to Jim Harrison, William Gay, Richard Ford. Jared Yates Sexton is a raw talent, the kind of writer that you need to tell your friends about, the kind of writer you envy and will follow to the ends of the earth. The Hook and the Haymaker is explosive, slicing through us like a literary scythe. His characters traipse through darkness with only the faintest hope of light on the other side, and Sexton leads them—and us—through it all with deft precision. This blisteringly smart collection is destined to be an instant classic, and I hope others will rejoice in saying so too.
—Robert James Russell, author of Don't Ask Me to Spell It Out and Sea of Trees
"Jared Yates Sexton lays down a strong, confident hand in The Hook and the Haymaker. He is a writer most excellent at details, both huge and tiny--the monstrous wildfires and infinitesimal sparks that warm a life, a relationship, a heart. These stories are sturdy and meaty with smoky ribbons—a substantial collection on which to feast and fill."
—Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Whiskey & Ribbons and Every Kiss a War