A novel about a city that's been abandoned, and the people who choose to live there. From Arcade Publishing, April 2018.
“Barnes's new novel is a rare and truly original work: a hard-edged fable, tender and unflinching, in which a man's descent and renewal is mirrored by his city. An eerie, beautifully written, and profoundly humane book.” - Emily St. John Mandel, author of STATION ELEVEN
“Prescient . . . haunting . . . a cautionary tale about a world that feels a hair's-breadth away.” - Shelf Awareness, starred reviewed.
“Written in a gorgeously spare language that perfectly reflects the dystopic future this novel depicts, The City Where We Once Lived kept me enthralled throughout. At the core is a deep and admirable compassion for humanity.” - Chris Offutt, author of COUNTRY DARK
“A stunningly-written tale of loss and grief. The City Where We Once Lived is a riveting journey through devastation, but one that delivers a world where seeds of hope emerge in the unlikeliest of places.” - Lindsay Moran, former CIA operative and author of BLOWING MY COVER
"Barnes doesn't name his city because this is every major metropolitan city in America dealing with sprawl and neglect and blight and a citizenry far too accommodating of the easy way out. Our man in the North End doesn't take the easy way out, and, in the end, it's a life worth fighting for." - Richard Alley, The Memphis Flyer
"Spare and elegant, Eric Barnes shows us what it means to inhabit - a building, a city, a life. And also what it means to be inhabited - by memories, by ghosts, and maybe, just maybe, by hope." - Elise Blackwell, author of THE LOWER QUARTER
“An intensely envisioned work of dystopian realism and American desolation, beautifully drawn from the slow-motion apocalypse of everyday life.” - Christopher Brown, author of TROPIC OF KANSAS
"A controlled burn of a book, full of horror and sadness and, once the fire dies down, the beauty of new growth. In the tradition of J.G. Ballard and Margaret Atwood, Eric Barnes gives us a dying neighborhood of outcasts who save the world that has cast them out." - John Feffer, author of SPLINTERLANDS
“With deft prose and a discerning voice, The City Where We Once Lived is a taut examination of the archetypes and rituals that form the landscape of community.” - Courtney Miller Santo, author of THREE STORY HOUSE and THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE
"The voice is appealingly quiet, the atmosphere dreamlike, but the premise of poisoned ground, weather gone haywire, and a government that has thrown up its hands, is frighteningly real." - James Whorton, author of APPROXIMATELY HEAVEN, FRANKLAND and ANGELA SLOAN
"Eric Barnes' The City Where We Once Lived is a most original novel, surprising and fierce - a dazzling puzzle of grief and utopia, dystopia and hope." - Minna Zallman Proctor, author of LANDSLIDE
“Barnes’s ... violent, haunted, and creepy novel about failing societies will attract readers of dark, postapocalyptic fiction." - Library Journal
“In bare-bones prose that is subtly affecting, the novel is a haunting portrait of why people form bonds and the many ways those bonds can be torn apart." (5 out 5 stars) - Foreward Magazine