The nine stories in THE GAME CAFÉ focus on people who live in New York City —or are traveling there— in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. These men and women include a security guard; a mother with a far-away daughter; a ham radio operator; two strangers playing a board game in a café; a woman driving from Los Angeles to Manhattan who makes a stop at a famous corner in Winslow, Arizona; an unemployed airport worker who has an unexpected reconciliation with his brother; and others. While the stories are primarily set in New York, they are also meant to explore how living in modern-day urban environments in the U.S. unalterably shapes the fate of people going through difficult times.
“The Game Café by Eleanor Lerman was honestly one of the best short story collections I have ever read. The book contains nine short stories, each of which focuses on an individual living during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the main characters have very different lives—different professions, genders, sexual orientations, hobbies, and relationships. However, they all have one thing in common: a home or deep connection to New York, a city that keeps these characters thriving and lively.” —Theresa Kadair, Manhattan Book Review
Fiction. Short Stories. LGBTQ+ Studies.
Eleanor Lerman is the author of numerous award- winning collections of poetry, short stories and novels. She is a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for poetry and the New York Foundation for the Arts for fiction. She has also received the John W. Campbell Award for the Best Book of Science Fiction. Her most recent novel, WATKINS GLEN (Mayapple Press, 2021), received an Independent Press award, among others.