Fox Tooth Heart
“The Ninety-Fifth Percentile”
“The Ninety-Fifth Percentile” is from John McManus’s new collection, FOX TOOTH HEART (Sarabande Books, 2015). He’s also the author of the novel Bitter Milk (2005) and the short story collections Born on a Train (2003) and Stop Breakin Down (2000), available from Picador USA. McManus has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award.
Trevor Payne, writing in The Literary Review, said of the collections: In his new collection of stories, Fox Tooth Heart, John McManus puts his arm around our shoulder and walks us out to the margin, calmly pointing out all the unfortunate souls who have stepped across the thin line. When he turns us away from the grotesque, toward the homes his characters can’t find their way back to, the familiar is dizzying in its sway.
The review in the Star Tribune said: His first book in a decade, “Fox Tooth Heart,” will impress readers, I suspect, although its nine stories won’t please everyone. McManus’ characters are meth addicts, sadomasochists, registered sex offenders, even “teenage Satanist rest-area murderers.” Most of them live in the South — in Letcher and Pike counties, Kentucky, around Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in Atlanta, Yazoo City, Miami and Houston. They frequent gay bars and seek forgetfulness in the darkrooms of bathhouses.
Kirkus Reviews wrote: McManus fits comfortably into a tradition of Gothic writing, adding his own—dare one say peculiar?—twists.