The Asthmatic Kid & Other Stories
by Mark Tulin
978-1-948692-46-5 paper 18.95
978-1-948692-47-2 ebook 9.99
5½x8½ , 162 pp.
The Asthmatic Kid & Other Stories is a collection of narratives that chronicle the life of a young man trying to survive his childhood. These stories take place in the 60s and 70s featuring compelling characters that often have conflicting interests, get a few bumps and bruises, but discover what is truly important. Mark Tulin’s quirky stories speak of freedom, love, and the joys of youthful mischief. “Crazy Grandpa,” “Into the Blue Suburban Sky,” “Dark Clouds Over Baseball” and others in this collection will make trauma not seem so scary and, in many cases, quite amusing.
Mark Tulin’s formative years were spent in Philadelphia playing baseball and getting into mischief with his friends. He parlayed his experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family to become a successful marriage and family therapist. Once he retired and relocated to California, his interest in creative writing flourished. His stories have appeared in anthologies, journals, and podcasts. He has published in Page & Spine, Cabinet of the Heed, and Fiction on the Web, among others. His poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, was published by Prolific Press in 2017. Follow Mark at www.crowonthewire.com.
With sensitivity and lyrical sentimentality, Mark Tulin zooms in on what it’s like to grow up. His characters exist in a gentler version of urban America. An America that’s lost to the past as they experience their first road trip, first sex, first experiments with drugs—our heart flutters along with theirs. These stories will transport you to when you were sneaking away from your parents for the night, fumbling your first kiss, or listening to the record that blew your heart wide open.
—Charlie Fish, screenwriter and short story writer
Mark Tulin picks up the torch left by Philip Roth, and The Asthmatic Kid doesn’t try to pretend that real life is always pretty. The book’s filled with gritty writing that leaves stains on the sidewalk. However, Tulin’s skill lies in raising his central characters above everything that surrounds them. The Asthmatic Kid is literature that entertains, challenges, and uplifts all at once.
—Gordon Lawrie, editor of Friday Flash Fiction and author of several novels including The Blogger Who Came in from the Cold
Mark Tulin’s darkly hilarious stories have graced the pages of Smokebox.net since April 2016, when we published his beautifully stark, Room Full of Strangers. Inner demons, unsettled familial scores, and brutally honest appraisals of human frailties are employed deftly by Tulin in The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories. If the title story is any indication, with its cast of hopelessly damaged ne’er-do-wells and sweetly fragile personal growth, Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories promises to provide an expertly guided journey through the highs and lows of life’s headlong course.
—Marcus Covert, associate editor, Smokebox.net