BELFAST — Left Bank Books invites the public to a free talk and book signing by highly acclaimed debut novelist Morgan Talty, author of the newly released collection of stories “Night of the Living Rez,” Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. at First Church of Belfast, 8 Court St. Reservations, which are strongly recommended, can be made by calling the bookshop at 207-338-9009 or emailing

In 12 striking, luminescent stories, Talty — with searing humor, abiding compassion, and deep insight — breathes life into tales of family and a community as they struggle with a painful past and an uncertain future. Set in Maine on the Penobscot Indian National reservation where Talty was raised, the stories are held together by David, a Penobscot boy who lives on the rez. “Night of the Living Rez” has received unanimous and widespread reviews. The New York Times lauds Talty’s “fresh, irreverent prose” and writes that he “has assured himself a spot in the canon of great Native American literature.”

Talty’s stories are sad, tragic, humorous. He has said that, although he writes a lot about difficult and painful issues, “too much of something can be hard to handle. That’s where humor comes in. In my work, humor is partly about easing the pain that readers may feel for these characters, but it’s also, I think, sort of in my DNA. There’s a lot in this book that is personal, and humor was a big part of my coping with the difficulties my family and I experienced.”

“Night of the Living Rez” was named to the “Best Books of Summer 2022” lists by the New York Times and Good Housekeeping; it was a “Most Anticipated” book on LitHub; and Talty was cited as a “Writer to Watch” by Publishers Weekly.

Esquire magazine writes that, “in one standout story, two friends, inspired by Antiques Roadshow, stage a heist at the tribal museum; in another, a grandmother suffering from dementia mistakes her grandson for her dead brother, believing that he’s come back to life. . .’Night of the Living Rez’ is proof that Talty is an important new writer to watch.”

Talty’s work has appeared in Granta, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize, his work has been supported by the Elizabeth George Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Talty is an assistant professor of English in creative writing and Native American and contemporary literature at the University of Maine, Orono, and is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing, as well as the Institute of American Indian Arts. Talty is also a prose editor at The Massachusetts Review. He lives in Levant.

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