Night in Erg Chebbi: Stories

Night in Erg Chebbi

“The stories in Night in Erg Chebbi are sweeping and intimate and awesomely confident of their own effects. Each story here is a world in miniature, illuminated by the flashbulb bursts of Hamlin’s luminous, controlled prose.”

— Pulitzer Prize finalist Karen Russell

“This is a beautifully written and politically astute collection.”

— National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard

“Night in Erg Chebbi is a stunner. A marvelous book about the natural world and the human landscapes of resilience, grief, and love.”

— Katherine Hill, author, The Violet Hour



The Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Colorado Book Award

“Hamlin guides readers through dark emotional pathways, illuminating the search for new life in response to personal tragedies such as the death of a partner or a blinding illness. The narratives succeed because of the authenticity of the descriptions and voices, and Hamlin’s vast and vivid settings work to quickly establish tone and provide access into the emotional state of his characters. This is a memorable read from a writer with considerable talent.”

Publishers Weekly

“Edward Hamlin masterfully plays the full spectrum of literary elements and devices to create globe-spanning fictional worlds bursting with color and life in this collection… Beautiful, terrifying, and compassionate, Hamlin’s stories take a multisensory approach—the sound of a skull cracking on tile, the feel of wind that comes in ‘broad, slapping gusts,’ or the anguish of knowing one will never again see the Milky Way—to bring both the natural landscape and the terrain of the human heart to life with power and passion.”

Foreword Reviews, 5 stars, Winter 2016 (Kristine Morris)

Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories spans the globe, taking us from Belfast to Brazil, Morocco to Manhattan. The teenaged daughter of an IRA assassin flees Northern Ireland only to end up in Baby Doc’s terrifying Haiti. An American woman who’s betrayed her brother only to lose him to a Taliban bullet comes face to face with her demons during a vacation in Morocco. A famed photojournalist must find a way to bring her life’s work to closure before she goes blind, a quest that changes her understanding of the very physics of light.

By turns innocent and canny, the characters of Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories must learn to improvise—quickly—when confronted with stark choices they never dreamed they’d have to make. Lyrical, immaculately constructed and deeply felt, these nine stories take us far beyond our comfort zones and deep into the wilds of the human heart.

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Listen to the author discuss Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories on Colorado Public Radio here.

Listen to the KGNU Radio Book Club discussion of Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories here.

Read Deborah Kalb’s author interview here.

Who’s behind that striking photo on the cover? Sean Fitzgerald. The photo depicts a Berber tent at Erg Chebbi, on the edge of the Sahara in Morocco.

Page background image of Merzouga by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen.