Stephen Florida

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Book Overview

Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding. A coming-of-age story and a psychological journey into the mind of a young man teetering between genius and insanity.

Stephen Florida is a college wrester in his senior season, fixated on winning his Championship fight: every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from reality. Profane, manic and tipping into the uncanny, this is his story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.

About the author

Gabe Habash is the fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly. He holds an MFA from New York University and lives in New York.


‘In Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash has created a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity. Habash has a canny sense of how young men speak and behave, and in Stephen, he’s created a singular character: funny, ambitious, affecting, but also deeply troubled, vulnerable, and compellingly strange. This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study’ Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life

‘Stephen Florida is an unforgettable addition to the canon of great literary eccentrics. At once a chronicle of obsession, a philosophical treatise, and a deeply affecting love story, this singular novel is perhaps most profoundly an anatomy of American loneliness. Gabe Habash is a writer of powerful gifts, and this is a wonderful book’ Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

‘In Gabe Habash’s hands, Stephen Florida is utterly engrossing. The compelling voice of this book drew me in right away, and it wasn’t long before this character was a real person to me, and someone who I found myself loving and rooting for’ Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will

‘A striking, original, and coarsely poetic portrayal of a young man’s athletic and emotional quest’ Publishers Weekly

‘Habash writes about the raw physicality of wrestling better than anybody this side of John Irving… A lively, occasionally harrowing journey into obsession’ Kirkus