Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Joseph Cardinale

The Size of the Universe

The Size of the Universe
by Joseph Cardinale

Quality Paper
2010. 136 pp.
ISBN 978-1-57366-158-4
Price: $13.50

E Book
2010. 136 pp.
ISBN 978-1-57366-820-0
Price: $9.99


The landscape of this novel in stories—Joseph Cardinale’s first book-length work of fiction—is as familiar as childhood yet beguilingly surreal. The question of whether or not the child in the first fiction and the man in the last story are the same person—and whether any person is the same from one moment to the next—is perhaps the book’s main question.

In prose as spare as it is meticulous, The Size of the Universe conjures an elegant labyrinth of time, space, and memory, in which a wavering self, a self on the verge of becoming nothing, seeks a safe haven from the throes of near-religious ecstasy. It is a debut work that is inviting, perplexing, and bold.

"Joseph Cardinale writes from and to the grandest locations of human life with an enormously endearing humility and compassion. The stories in The Size of the Universe find us as we are, alone in a universe of sea and sun, animals and fishes, bodies, minds, and hearts we strive to meaningfully engage. There is humor here, intelligence, pathos, an honest, unapologetic pursuit of the holy. This book will reward its reader with the moving truths only the best fiction permits." —Sam Michel, author of Big Dogs and Flyboys

"Cardinale writes from the minor place where spiritus meets corpus. He has seen with open eyes, and he has seen (perhaps more) with them closed. We have in Joseph a writer who truly has something he needs to say. You would be wise to listen. This is a remarkable collection, so do try it on. Hopefully, you’ll be ready." —Giancarlo Ditrapano, co-editor of New York Tyrant, Vol. 1 No. 3–The Tyrant is Dead


Joseph Cardinale grew up in Jamesport, New York. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst MFA program, he lives in Honolulu. His fiction has appeared in New York Tyrant and Denver Quarterly.