Garbage Night at the Opera covers roughly 30 years in the life of one extended family in pre-gentrified Brooklyn as they grapple with factory closings and other economic changes that impact the neighborhood. These are stories about invisible New Yorkers, those who struggle to survive on the margins of a city that glorifies wealth and celebrity.
Winner of the 2011 Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction from BkMk Press of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Garbage Night at the Opera received the IPPY Bronze Medal in Short Fiction, was one of two finalists for Late Night Library‘s Debut-litzer Prize, and was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize.
“Here, at last, is the real Brooklyn: gritty, tender, workaday, brave.” – Kate Christensen, author of The Astral
“The gritty, sticky feel of living by the shore is brought home as if you’re living there, too, as is what it would be like for your sisters, mother, daughters, and wife—no matter how much you loved them— to be able to watch every last thing that you do, especially when you’re down on your luck.” – Bonnie ZoBell, Gently Read Literature
“Garbage Night at the Opera is an excellent addition to any short fiction collection focusing on the lives of New York.” – Midwest Book Review
“It’s thoughtful, respectful, honest—and most importantly, a really good read.” – Kel Munger, Sacramento News & Review
“What Fioravanti does better than anything else with these stories is create a world that rarely makes the media in any kind of positive light. Politicians talk around it, pundits pretend it doesn’t exist, and those who live in it are led to believe that they are not part of it. That is the world of the working class majority—the people who make it possible for massive amounts of wealth to be amassed by incredibly few.” – Fred Gardaphe, Fra Noi.
“(Fioravanti’s) themes will be familiar to readers of Raymond Carver, Charles Bukowski, and other American canonical short story writers who have long portrayed the masculine response to hard times in their work. Fioravanti’s stories, however, tend to prioritize the female rather than the male point of view, which offers a refreshing counterpoint perspective.” – Elizabeth O’Brien, New Pages
“Her characters are real and unapologetic. Her backdrop of Brooklyn…is vivid, with language that is accessible and street as well as poetically spot on.” – San Francisco Book Review
“Fioravanti manages–in story after story–to touch upon something profoundly human.” – Robert Boswell
“Deeply satisfying stories.” – Peter Orner
“Garbage Night at the Opera intimately places you inside the characters’ hearts and minds as they reckon with what cannot be salvaged — and what can.” – Kevin McIlvoy
“Fioravanti shows us the stuff theses characters are made of, a raw mixture of despair, humor, and above all, a fighting spirit and hope.” – Naomi Benaron
“These stories display the generosity and wisdom characteristic of the best of short fiction.” – Jacquelyn Mitchard