we-agreed-to-meet-just-hereWe Agreed to Meet Just Here

$26.00 cloth | 164 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-930974-80-7
Publication Date: Feb 2009
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AWP Award Series in the Novel
Judge: Robert Eversz

2010 PEN USA Literary Award Finalist
Winner, The Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for best work of fiction

We Agreed to Meet Just Here is a lyrical mystery about disappearance, told in precise and luminous prose. A young lifeguard in an Austin suburb vanishes one night while returning from a screening of The Third Man. A doctor, ill with cancer, goes missing from his home, and is later seen, bearded and ragged, wandering the aisles of a grocery store. A car is stolen, the unseen consequences tragic. One child is given up to adoption, another is lost up a tree. The absences are so keenly felt, in the drifting lucidity of the author’s sentences, that every reappearance reads like a small miracle.”
—Robert Eversz, Judge

“This little gem of a book puts on lush display Scott Blackwood’s talent for measuring and connecting the previously un-connectable in lived experience, and making of it an entirely new whole which we immediately accept as true, natural, exhilarating, even inevitable. He is a lovely sentence writer, and this first novel sparkles with invention.”
—Richard Ford

“Extravagantly beautiful and yet offhand, We Agreed to Meet Just Here sweeps us along with its lush, hypnotic prose. Each of its characters is drawn to the illusion of forbidden perfection, the belief that the darkness, absence, and silence from which babies arrive and into which the dead enter is numinous proof our every wish will be fulfilled. As readers, we see what Scott Blackwood’s characters can’t see: a world so perfectly wrought every small gesture or urge matters.”
—Debra Monroe, author of Shambles

We Agreed to Meet Just Here is not a story about redemption, and it is not a story about making peace and meaning out of terrible events. Instead, this lyrical portrait of mystery and longing functions like a piece of music—a sad piece of music that gives voice to a yearning that is both general and specific. The narrative voice alternates between the songs of soloists and the swell of the full choir.”
—Jaspar Lepak, Rain Taxi Review of Books

“A sense of imminent and unskirtable dread hangs like woodsmoke over Texas native Scott Blackwood’s finely wrought first novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here. . . . a triumph of language and atmospherics and — as we’re drawn deeper into the characters’ private worlds, hallucinations, and dreams — a travelogue of unfamiliar emotional terrain.”
—Mike Shea, Texas Monthly, January 2009

“Entering Blackwood’s debut novel is like plunging straight into a dense, white fog. You have to keep your arms up, because you know something is coming, even if you can’t see it. And Blackwood plumbs that sense of dreadful anticipation for all it’s worth in this numinous, abbreviated tale of suburban woe.”
—Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago / Issue 208 : Feb 19–25, 2009

“What’s most amazing about We agreed to meet just here — the title pops into the hit-and-run driver’s mind when Natalie, smiling, ‘explodes in the Blazer’s highbeams’ — is Blackwood’s trenchant and expedient use of ideas and language.”
—Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News, 1/31/2009

“. . . a rich novel . . . about connection and its necessary friend, disconnection, and the title couldn’t be more apt. We Agreed to Meet Just Here tells a story that shows how we depend upon one another, though we so often let others down.”
—Chad Hammett, Texas Books in Review

Scott Blackwood

Blackwood image

Scott Blackwood grew up in Texas. His award-winning collection of stories, In the Shadow of Our House, was published by SMU Press in 2001. His fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Boston Review, and Southwest Review, and the title story from his collection is featured on the New York Times Book Review’s “First Chapters” website. Blackwood has won a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, two Texas Commission on the Arts Fellowships, and twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Roosevelt University in Chicago.