It’s senior year of college and Stephen Florida plans, big plans He was to go out at the top of his weight class in wrestling at the end of the season to solidify his legacy. But with one collapse, one injury, those plans go awry. The book becomes more disturbing as Stephen falls down a very black hole that has him performing crazy antics and driving away his only two friends. He's self-destructive and nuclear to all those around him, and yet I still rooted for him to rebound, get healthy, and win. Habash's writing locked me into the character's mind set, speeding along with his dangerous ideas - I couldn't put the book down! At the end, Stephen Florida is just a kid who is looking to make sense of the world that doesn't make sense. I can't recommend this book highly enough.— Jason Kennedy
June 2017 Indie Next List
“Spanning a college wrestler's senior season, Stephen Florida is eerie, unsettling, and unlike anything else. It can be hard to live in Stephen's head, but it is impossible to stop reading or to forget what you find there. Stephen is unpredictable, sympathetic, focused, frenzied, cold, and tender. He is hard to love, yet I love him. We are lucky to have a new novel like this: something you haven't seen before, that makes you remember what good fiction is capable of.”
— Tyler Goodson (E), Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
"In Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash has created a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity. Habash has a canny sense of how young men speak and behave, and in Stephen, he's created a singular character: funny, ambitious, affecting, but also deeply troubled, vulnerable, and compellingly strange. This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study."
--Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life
Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.
Gabe Habash is the fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly. He holds an MFA from New York University and lives in New York.
About the Author
Gabe Habash: Gabe Habash is the fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly. He holds an MFA from New York University and lives in New York.