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

Shootout with Father

Shootout with Father
by Marianne Hauser

Price: $11.95


Shootout with Father is a richly textured novel built around the love-hate conflict between a father and his grown son. The story is told by the son, James, a sculptor of small objet d'art, miniature versions of the armor his father has spent a lifetime collecting. The father's ambiguities become the son's obsession and he finds himself digging deeper and deeper into his father's past in an effort to understand the man before he was a father. He discovers a student filled with romantic dreams and high hopes, a latent homosexual who, after a bizarre episode of dashed expectations, rejects his nature and builds a fortress of denial. These revelations come to light in a suspenseful, many-layered plot that is delivered with a remarkable mixture of sensitivity and biting wit. This work is vintage Hauser, an Oedipal companion piece to The Talking Room, recounting the astonishingly suicidal lengths to which the child in everyone will go to be acknowledged by his or her creator.


"She succeeds in fusing the fantastic and the ordinary." —New York Times Book Review

"An artist desperate for approval from his wealthy, sadistic father narrates nonagenarian Marianne Hauser's (The Talking Room, etc.) spare but engrossing novella, Shootout with Father. James, a sculptor, tries to make sense of the daunting man who has brought him so much misery and frustration. Through a series of recollections and forbidden letters, a portrait of James's father emerges: an avid collector of priceless armor, a brilliant businessman who abused and neglected his wife and son. But most illuminating is the discovery of his father's long-ago infatuation with an older male mentor and the heartbreak he experienced as a result. Hauser's insight and sharp wit make for a captivating read." —Publishers Weekly