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Belle Point Press

Of Fathers & Gods

Of Fathers & Gods

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Of Fathers & Gods, by Jim Roberts

Of Fathers & Gods is a debut collection of short fiction that delves into the relationships between fathers and their children: the good, the bad, and the awful. In these emotionally charged stories, a young expectant father, on the edge of homelessness, loses his religion and duels with a street preacher; fifty-year-old twins, survivors of foster care, war, and prison, fight over the decision to finally meet the father who abandoned them as infants, and hold him to account; and a Pulitzer-winning, ageist professor seeks to quash the writing dreams of an elderly student while coming to terms with how much love he’s lost as a result of his career. These nine stories open a window into the most primal elements of the human condition—childhood and parenting—and show us how, try as we might, we can never fully escape the bonds of blood.

Jim Roberts grew up in rural East Texas. After college, he lived and worked briefly in Houston before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 1980s to pursue a business career. Now a full-time writer, he and his wife, the artist Donna Berry Roberts, split their time between Ohio and Texas, depending on whim, changes in the weather, or the beckoning of distant haints.

His fiction has appeared in Prime Number Magazine, Rappahannock Review, Snake Nation Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and The Arlington Literary Journal (ArLiJo). His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and twice named to the finalist list for the Screencraft Cinematic Short Story Award. Of Fathers & Gods is his first book.

Praise for Of Fathers & Gods:

“They say Jacob wrestled with the Lord; writers like Jim Roberts continue that tradition of spiritual grappling. Of Father & Gods is an auspicious debut, nine stories that will pin you every time.”

—Aaron Gwyn, author of All God's Children and Wynne’s War

“From the first story (loaded with grief, guts, and grit) to the last (unforgiving with tongue-in-cheek), Of Fathers & Gods provokes as much as it coaxes. Characters have sharp edges that Roberts uses to trim up his stories. Every once in a while they nick, or even slice into you. The words he wraps them in are surgical in their precision. Whether the setting is downtown Brooklyn, or a lazy Texas river, Roberts creates atmospheres intricate enough to bury family secrets. Men populating the book are the fathers you know—some you wish you didn’t. With them Roberts asks old questions, but offers fresh answers from cover to cover: What do gods make of fathers? What gods do fathers make?”

—Toby LeBlanc, author of Dark Roux

"Jim Roberts writes with truth and clarity. Each searing story gets to the heart of humanity. A collection you’ll devour and then go back to for seconds."

—Mark Westmoreland, author of A Violent Gospel and A Mourning Song

“These are stories haunted by father figures, both present and passed, and by the many ways they’ve failed their children. Through stories about kidnapping, prosthesis creation, family secrets and mass shootings, Roberts never loses sight of the thumping, bleeding hearts of his characters, yearning for better lives. If you’re looking for the firm, no-nonsense truths of Flannery O’Connor and the raw, hardscrabble edge of Denis Johnson, this is your book. You would be wise to pick up a copy.”

—John Matthew Fox, Founder of Bookfox and author of I Will Shout Your Name

Foreword Reviews


    • Publication date: May 14, 2024
    • ISBN: 978-1-960215-15-4
    • 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
    • 170 pages

Looking for more Belle Point prose? Check out our 2023 bundle!

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