Eric Barnes (writer)
Eric Barnes (born February 28, 1968) is an American writer and publisher. He is the author of the novels Shimmer, from Unbridled Books and Something Pretty, Something Beautiful, as well as the author of numerous short stories, including stories published in The Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, The Northwest Review, Raritan and other publishers of short literary fiction.
Barnes is also the publisher of The Daily News (Memphis), a newspaper covering business and politics, as well as the weekly edition of The Daily News, known as The Memphis News. Barnes received his BA from Connecticut College and his MFA from Columbia University. He was formerly a reporter and editor in Connecticut and New York City and, before that, worked in Kenai, Alaska. He grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He lives in Memphis.
Barnes is also host of the weekly news program on local Public Television, WKNO. The show, Behind the Headlines, covers local stories, including stories about politics, business and the public interest.
Novels - Synopsis & Reviews
Barnes has written the novel Something Pretty, Something Beautiful, published by Outpost19 June 2013. Benjamin Whitmer wrote of the book, "Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written... the most harrowing portrait of American boys careening into manhood that I've ever read. And the truest."
Barnes has written the novel Shimmer (Unbridled Books, July 2009, ISBN 1-932961-67-4). A book about CEO Robbie Case, whose high tech company is built on a lie, Shimmer follows Robbie as he attempts to unwind the lie he has created. The fictional company, Core Communications, is a provider of high end networking services to mainframe computers. Along with his partner and cousin, Robbie has created an elaborate system that supposedly allows mainframe computers to communicate at impossibly fast speeds. However, the system does not work. It is actually built on a technical and financial Ponzi scheme that will fail if the company ever stops expanding.
Reviews of Shimmer have said, "Case’s slow but accelerating downward spiral drives the narrative.... The corporate intrigue should hook anyone fascinated by the collapse of Wall Street and the crimes of Bernie Madoff."  Another reviewer said, "I haven’t been able to get the people in the book out of my head.... Beautifully written, quiet and intense, Shimmer was absolutely riveting." Another reviewer said of Shimmer, "The book moves at a breathtaking pace, but I was purposely slowing my reading to enjoy both the writing and the structure of the book. Shimmer is beautiful in the way that a collapsing building is; more beautiful, because throughout it you can cling to the hope that the building will somehow put itself back together."
Barnes has published a number of short stories. They include:
- "Something Pretty, Something Beautiful," Best American Mystery Stories 2011
- "Something Pretty, Something Beautiful," Prairie Schooner
- "All I Can See," Other Voices
- "And We Would Drive," The Northwest Review
- "Applewhite," The Literary Review
- "The Arsons," The Louisville Review
- "Auntie Gail and Uncle Dan," Press
- "Captain Marvel," Pearl
- "Friday Afternoon," Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly
- "Dreams Where I Can Fly," Raritan
- "Prima della fine," l'Internazionale (an Italian transalation of "Dreams Where I Can Fly")
- "The Huts," The Greensboro Review
- "Lull, Pattern and Pure," 34th Parallel
- "Macramé Today," North Atlantic Review
- "Perfection," The Literary Review
- "Powdered Milk," Washington Square Review
- "Santa Claus Goes Hunting In the Off-Season," HobartPulp
- "Slower," The Portland Review
- "Someone Else Entirely," Quarterly West
- "Stories About Them," Crazyhorse
- "Swimming," The Portland Review
- "Toward the Sky," Pacific Review
Newspapers & Publishing
Barnes is the publisher of The Daily News (Memphis), which publishes news of business and politics in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as The Nashville Ledger. The Daily News also publishes a weekly edition, The Memphis News, operates an extensive public records database on its Web site, and operates Chandler Reports, a provider of real estate information.
Reviews of Shimmer
"Case’s slow but accelerating downward spiral drives the narrative.... The corporate intrigue should hook anyone fascinated by the collapse of Wall Street and the crimes of Bernie Madoff." -- Publisher's Weekly
"...a sheen of elegance and terror; one is reminded, in Barnes' language and locution, of Don DeLillo's scalpel-sharp delineation of American corporate culture and paranoia, and of David Foster Wallace's penetration into the heart of the relationship between human consciousness and rapidly changing technologies." -- Fredric Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal
"Robbie is one of those engagingly conflicted heroes who comes along from time to time, an essentially good man who knowingly perpetrated a swindle of epic proportions and who will now do whatever it takes to minimize the damage." -- Booklist
"[T]his page turner isn't for techno geeks only. Bottom Line: Even the computer challenged reader will be wired into the intrigue." -- Wanda McKinney, Southern Living
"[A] remarkable character study, unflinchingly probing the psyche of its flawed but compelling protagonist. [A]n insightful and incisive rendering of the kind of high-tech confidence man that it’s impossible not to recognize. [A]s with … Delillo and Gibson, the technology, though high concept, is not the main subject of Barnes’ interest, except in the ways it transforms the characters. Eric Barnes is completely fearless." -- Benjamin Whitmer, INDenverTimes
"The real story of Shimmer is the interaction between the people of Core. An ode to good people who do bad things and who genuinely believe it's not always about the money. Sometimes it's personal." -- Chris Scott, Chapter 16
"Shimmer is a 21st century thriller about technology and morality.... Shimmer's origins owe more to the dot-com bust." -- Rich Fisher, Studio Tulsa, Tulsa Public Radio
- Unbridled Books
- Publisher's Weekly
- Rene' Kirkpatrick, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Washington
- Anderson, Stephanie (March 24, 2009). "Worth buying in hardcover". Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY: Word Bookstore.