Robert Garner McBrearty

A Night At the Y, by Robert Garner McBrearty

A Night
At the Y

From the Jacket

Wild, funny, touching and full of crackling dialogue, Robert Garner McBrearty’s stories turn the intensity of real life up a notch: A soap opera star turns a set into a real-life melodrama. A reformed drinking, whoring, foul-mouthed horsethief and bank robber achieves New Age enlightenment. A hot spring oasis is the source of a man’s newfound sanity — or is it insanity?

In McBrearty’s talented hands, this exaggerated reality makes life seem much more hilarious and heartbreakingly real.

“Robert McBrearty writes with Chekhovian grace”

Previously published in distinguished literary magazines, these stories are about people caught at the moment of life change. Each compelling character struggles with major issues: the struggle to hold down two jobs, hold on to love, keep a grip on reality. And then there’s the toughest tussle of all — the choice to be a responsible citizen or a heroic hellraiser who runs with the bulls.

Written with wit and true grit, McBrearty’s stories take readers from the city to the open country, from Texas to California. What readers adore most about McBrearty’s stories is that, no matter where they are set, real people live there — out loud.


“McBrearty is as adept at moving the reader with an understanding of life’s more poignant moments as he is at making one laugh.” — Robin Hemley, Chicago Tribune

“I have always been a fan of Robert McBrearty’s stories, ever since we published ‘The Dishwasher’ in The Pushcart Prize series. Here are eleven more stories, sure to increase his fan club.” — Bill Henderson, publisher of Pushcart Press

“The Modern-day Walter Mittys of these 12 humorous stories, McBrearty’s debut, shuffle carefully from their humdrum existences into wider, more exhilarating, often quite humorous worlds.... The quirky, self-dramatizing characters in these entertainingly wry selections make good progress toward redemption, or at least manage to laugh in the face of their anxieties.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“Robert McBrearty’s characters are in trouble, off on crazy schemes, headed nowhere fast, but always they’re somewhere on the path of trying to make a change for the better. These are plainspeaking, entertaining stories about driving in the lost lane, looking for exits.” — Speer Morgan, editor of The Missouri Review

“RobertMcBrearty writes with Chekhovian grace, a great tenderness toward every character, and a deep understanding of the poignant comedy of ordinary life. All the stories in A Night at the Y stand quietly outside convention, on their own original ground.” — Heidi Jon Schmidt, author of The Rose Thieves