Nine Shiny Objects, Brian Castleberry's first novel (Custom House, 2020), was a NYT Editor's Choice, an Indie Next Selection, was long-listed for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the Library of Virginia Book Award in Fiction. It spans from the beginnings of the Cold War to the late 1980s, and focuses on the generational strife between utopian dreamers and the forces of violent reaction. From the 1947 UFO sightings in the Cascades through the dark underbelly of rock 'n' roll, the book follows a wide cast of characters all seeking some kind of meaning in a nation often defined by its chaos.
His second novel, The Californians, is centered on the lives of a controversial painter, her silent-film director grandfather, and a pot-addled thief escaping from a burning California town. A novel about art, family, and climate catastrophe, it will be out from Mariner Books in early 2025.
Brian Castleberry's work has appeared in Narrative, Southern Review, Meridian, Day One, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. He currently teaches creative writing and literature at the College of William & Mary, where he directs the Hayes Writers Series.