About the Book

Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. When his second-grade class finds a dead body on a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. Click here to learn more.


Want to read an excerpt of the novel? Need some good questions to raise in your book group discussion of Bright Before Us? Click here.


“In Katie Arnold-Ratliff’s relentless debut, the ragged ends of a relationship are set on fire with intense and inventive language, and thrown against a darkened sky.” Click here to see what else people are saying about Bright Before Us.

On the Road

The characters in Bright Before Us definitely get around (prompting one reviewer to call the novel “a nihilistic road trip”). Click here to find an annotated map of the locations described in the book.