The Spark and the Drive
By an award-winning author of short fiction,
a devastatingly powerful debut novel of
hero-worship, first love, and betrayal
Justin Bailey is seventeen when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out-of-place at home, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family for which he as longed.
But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to support his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man’s grieving wife.
A haunting debut that illuminates the blue-collar with keen and tender-hearted prose. Sections of the novel have appeared in The Atlantic and Best American Short Stories 2010.
and other stories
Winner: The New American Fiction Prize
Runner-Up: Flannery O'Connor Fiction Award
Finalist: Iowa Book Award, St. Lawrence Book Award, Spokane Prize, Serena McDonald Kennedy Award.