From a writer whose novels have been acclaimed for their unflinching exploration of evil comes a brilliant collection of short stories—some never before published—that distill dread back down to its essence—and inject it straight into the reader's back brain. Andrew Vachss might have scissored his characters from today's headlines: a stalker prowling around an anonymous high-rise; a serial killer whose transgressions reflect a childhood of hideous abuse; an inner-city gunman who is willing to take out a blockful of victims in order to win a moment of acceptance.
Tautly written and endowed with murderous ironic spin, Born Bad plunges us into the hell that lies just outside our bedroom windows.
About the Author
Andrew Vachss, an attorney in private practice specializing in juvenile justice and child abuse, is the country’s best recognized and most widely sought after spokesperson on crimes against children. He is also a bestselling novelist and short story writer, whose works include Flood (1985), the novel which first introduced Vachss’ series character Burke, Strega (1987), Choice of Evil (1999), and Dead and Gone (2000). His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and The Observer, and he is a contributor to ABA Journal, Journal of Psychohistory, New England Law Review, The New York Times, and Parade.
Vachss has worked as a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a caseworker in New York, and a professional organizer. He was the director of an urban migrants re-entry center in Chicago and another for ex-cons in Boston. After managing a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders, he published his first book, a textbook, about the experience. He was also deeply involved in the relief effort in Biafra, now Nigeria.
For ten years, Vachss’ law practice combined criminal defense with child protection, until, with the success of his novels, it segued exclusively into the latter, which is his passion. Vachss calls the child protective movement “a war,” and considers his writing as powerful a weapon as his litigation.
Praise for Born Bad: Collected Stories…
"Vachss seems bottomlessly knowledgeable about the depth and variety of human twistedness." —The New York Times
"We are taken not simply into the mean streets but into a subterranean nightmare world. A place as compelling and morally challenging as any to be found in the best crime fiction today." —The Washington Post Book World
"[Vachss is] able to wring edginess from his portrayal of a society hovering beneath the radar." —The Village Voice