The Bar at Twilight

288 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $17.99
ISBN: 9781954276031


ISBN: 9781954276048

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“Engrossing. . . . Tuten’s prose is always vital, often dazzling. . . . The Bar at Twilight is neither normative nor predictable, and it bears the firm impress of the soul.”

New York Times Book Review

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The Bar at Twilight is [Tuten’s] showcase, revisiting every strand of his bibliography with the benefit of hindsight and at the peak of his powers. . . . [It] is outgoing, lived-in, and gregarious. The word for this is generous.”


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“Tuten’s language is supple, elegant, and wonderfully descriptive. He is also very funny.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

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New York Magazine

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“Subtly exultant. . . . The Bar at Twilight solidifies [Tuten’s] reputation as a distinctive, if overlooked, practitioner of literary art.”

East Hampton Star

“Tuten has managed to reinvent himself in one stylistically daring work after another. . . . The Bar at Twilight is a sumptuous compendium of fables, pastiches, and stories in late style, all of them trussed up in a distinctively earthy, image-obsessed prose. At once riotous and soulful, saturated by a gentle, well-traveled tristesse, the stories feel both strikingly familiar and markedly fresh.”

Cleveland Review of Books

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“Scintillating. . . . Tuten dazzles like the best of Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, and George Saunders. Here, with The Bar at Twilight, he is at the pinnacle of his craft.”

On the Seawall

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“Do you enjoy your short fiction with a heady dose of art and absurdism? Frederic Tuten’s globe-trotting new collection offers plenty of both, providing a dizzying array of locales and imagery that ventures to unexpected places.”

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

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“The subtlety of [Tuten’s] storytelling is wonderful.”

North of Oxford

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“Heady and elegant. . . . The work of a gifted, resourceful writer: an old master.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Heartfelt. . . . No matter whether Tuten is chronicling the creative or romantic lives of his characters, he renders their struggles with a sense of hope.”

Publishers Weekly

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“Showcase[s] the deep desire to connect.”

Foreword Reviews

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“The music of Tuten’s prose speaks to my heart. His inimitable, imaginative, witty, romantic stories continue to haunt me.”

David Gilbert, author of The Normals and & Sons

“Frederic Tuten’s stories are filled with art, dreams, yearning, and a past that he captures beautifully and deftly and then lets go. The Bar at Twilight is a wonderful, evocative collection.”

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings and The Female Persuasion

In fifteen masterful stories, Frederic Tuten entertains questions of existential magnitude, pervasive yearning, and the creative impulse. A wealthy older woman reflects on her relationship with her drowned husband, a painter, as she awaits her own watery demise. An exhausted artist, feeling stuck, reads a book of criticism about allegory and symbolism before tossing her paintings out the window. Writing a book about the lives of artists he admires—Cezanne, Monet, Rousseau—a man imagines how each vignette could be a life lesson for his wife, the artist he perhaps admires the most.

Whether set in Tuten’s beloved Lower East Side, Rome’s Borghese Gardens, or a French seaside resort, these stories shift seamlessly between the poignancy of memory into the logic of fairytales or dreams, demonstrating Tuten’s exceptional ability to transmute his passion for art and life to the page.

New York Times “Editors’ Choice” selection

New York Magazine “Approval Matrix” selection

BOMB Magazine “Gift Guide” selection

Vol. 1 Brooklyn “Book Preview” selection


Excerpt from The Bar at Twilight

Watch Frederic Tuten in conversation about The Bar at Twilight at McNally Jackson Books and read more about his life and work in the East Hampton Star, Washington Independent Review of Books, and Cleveland Review of Books.


Preview stories from The Bar at Twilight in BOMB Magazine and at the Literary Hub.