At its core, Stephen Florida is a coming of age story. Losing his parents at 14, Stephen goes to live with his grandmother. Orphaned again when his grandmother dies of heart disease, he promises her that he’ll go to college and win a national championship. Stephen is an obsessive and Habash puts us in his mind and takes us for a wonderful, bumpy ride through his final season - a final season where family, love, and friendship begin to take their proper place in Stephen’s life…maybe. - randy— From Fiction
“Spanning a college wrestler's senior season, Stephen Florida is eerie, unsettling, and unlike anything else. It can be hard to live in Stephen's head, but it is impossible to stop reading or to forget what you find there. Stephen is unpredictable, sympathetic, focused, frenzied, cold, and tender. He is hard to love, yet I love him. We are lucky to have a new novel like this: something you haven't seen before, that makes you remember what good fiction is capable of.”
— Tyler Goodson (E), Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
"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
Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.
Gabe Habash is the fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly. He holds an MFA from New York University and lives in New York.