Bad luck follows travelers through the desert, Mormon missionaries contemplate the bodily implications of the internal combustion engine, and minimum wage workers look for a sense of meaning in art, country and western music, and domestic terrorism. A lemon tree produces an alarming number of fruit, but nobody can manage to have a threesome. Perkins’s first collection of short stories vibrates at the chaotic frequency of the American West, a place where the states are square, the drives are long, and heartbreak is at least as much of a shit show as it is anywhere else.
“Depression makes most people’s memories collapse inward onto themselves. Perkins struggles with himself but knows the beautiful punctures on the the stick-and-poke world around him.” –Brendan Wells, of Uranium Club.
“In the Western Lands there are people who believe in its landscapes and cities like a secret cult. Nate Perkins lets you into this world of travelers, the secret passwords that allow you into the Western Lands.” –Noah Cicero, author of Nature Documentary
“Coming to you from the front lines of the crusty underbelly of American weirdness, Nate Perkins writes from a place of hard-earned material, and these stories brim with authoritative detail. He knows the sordid basements of punk house parties as well as he knows the grandeur of the Utah desert landscape. All of it told with humor and sadness and deep empathy for the lost and broken-hearted heroes of this monster of a motherland.” — Bart Schaneman, author of The Silence is the Noise
In Cactus, correctional officer and ex-punk rocker Will Stephens works guarding prisoners who pick up trash on the side of the highway. One of them, a hardened inmate with a tattoo right beneath his eye, seems oddly familiar, but Will can’t quite place him. When he realizes that the prisoner is none other than the former lead singer of his favorite punk band, he must navigate an emotional desert landscape populated by neo-Nazis, asshole cops, guilt, student loans, and a double dose of mescaline tea.