Davy Rothbart, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
I don't have much to say at length about Davy Rothbart's debut story collection, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas, except to mention that I enjoyed it immensely. Most of Rothbart's wonderful stories are narrated by misfits, lonely souls who are drifting, trying to find their place in the world. For the most part he avoids easy resolutions--there are no genuinely happy endings to be found here. Instead, his stories are very open-ended, like the world itself. Reading these stories, I hoped--often against hope--that the narrators would have things turn out right for them. I can't say for sure whether or not things did turn out right, but Rothbart always leaves the possibility open. A very promising debut, and highly recommended.
Coincidentally, Gapers Block has a nice recent interview with Rothbart.