Like a Polaroid snapshot, this finely wrought collection of short stories gives us a brief glimpse into the quirky and complex lives that make up rural Wisconsin. As the characters struggle to define their individuality and reconcile their ideals with ordinary life, we are witness to their unique self-discoveries. At times mournful and haunting, this story collection celebrates the nobility of simple life, of striving and failing without ever losing hope.


  • Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award Winner


“The stories in Close Is Fine are a rare treat: vivid and voice-driven, sometimes hilarious and often heartbreaking, with surprising perceptions on every page… Eliot Treichel’s characters are all complexly flawed and deeply human.”

-Scott Nadelson, author of Aftermath and Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories


“The gleeful destruction of this collection’s first pages is an early warning that you’re entering a world like no other… The stories of Close Is Fine could not be so funny if they weren’t also so sad, and their energy is always tempered by a narration of sharp reflection and clear, sure-footed prose. This is what I admire most about the book—the tension between the intelligence and control of the storytelling and the mistakes, the lack of control in the actions of the characters he tells us about. These are consistently provocative stories, stories of a very high order.”

– Peter Rock, author of The Shelter Cycle and My Abandonment


“This splendid collection of stories is part thrill-ride, part ethnographic field study, and part love song… Eliot Treichel is a master ventriloquist, able to summon and sustain an amazing range of voices, and to let his characters tell their glorious and surprisingly wise stories with their own idiosyncratic eloquence.”

– K.L. Cook, author of The Girl from Charnelle and Last Call: Stories