Meet Alby, the heartbroken antihero at the center of Matt Sumell's ferocious, funny, and wrenching debut Making Nice. Fueled by heartache, fury, and the occasional pain pill from his mother's leftover stash, Alby is flailing wildly as he tries (and mostly fails) to cope with his mother's death. From his hometown on the Great South Bay to a sailboat in a Los Angeles marina, he stalks the perimeters of calamity: he punches his sister; gets drunk; picks fights; and spews insults at children, slow drivers, old ladies, and every single surviving member of his family. But it's in the rare moments of connection--training an abandoned bird up for combat, commiserating with a toddler in a breakfast joint, spoon-feeding his grandmother gelatinized milk--that Alby begins to see a way to survive his pain. With unforgettable style and force and an ingenuous humanity that makes every page feel new (The Guardian), Matt Sumell's blistering debut blurs the line between fighting for and fighting with the only family you've got.
Matt Sumell is a graduate of UC Irvine's MFA program, and his fiction has since appeared in Esquire, the Paris Review, Electric Literature, One Story, Noon, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles, California. Making Nice is his first book.