The Book of Duels

The Book of Duels
The Book of Duels (back cover)

The Book of Duels

“One of the most extraordinary first books of fiction I’ve ever read.” —ROBERT OLEN BUTLER
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Fierce, searing, and darkly comical, The Book of Duels reimagines in a flash the competing points of motivation—courage and cowardice, honor and vengeance—that have led individuals throughout history to risk it all.

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. John Henry and the steam drill. Cain and Abel. We think we know these stories—but what drives two people to stand on the brink of murder and death? What turns brother against brother? What did Hamilton think when he witnessed the fatal bloom of Burr’s gun? Each one of Michael Garriga’s thirty-three short short stories captures a duel’s decisive moment from three distinct perspectives. In razor-honed language, the voices of the duelists—and the third account of a witness—take center stage, training a spotlight on the misguided beliefs and perceptions that lead individuals into such conflicts.

Taking a broad historical view, but allowing for more intimate scenes as well—an alcoholic fighting the bottle, the last legal cockfight in Louisiana—Garriga’s flash fiction provides a probing and disconcerting look at humanity’s long-held notions of pride, honor, vengeance, and satisfaction. Accompanied by stunning illustrations by Tynan Kerr, The Book of Duels is a unique and remarkable debut.

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5.56 × 8.5 × 0.56 in
11.7 oz
Michael Garriga

Machael Garriga comes from a long line of Creole outlaws and storytellers. He has worked as a shrimp picker, a bartender, and a soundman in a blues bar and is the author of The Book of Duels. He currently teaches writing at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.

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