Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Harbor Lights


by James Lee Burke

A dynamic, gripping collection of short stories from “America’s best novelist” (Denver Post), the New York Times bestselling James Lee Burke

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date January 23, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6096-6
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date December 17, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6391-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $18.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date January 23, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6097-3
  • US List Price $27.00

Harbor Lights is a story collection from one of the most popular and widely acclaimed icons of American fiction, featuring a never-before-published novella. These eight stories move from the marshlands on the Gulf of Mexico to the sweeping plains of Colorado to prisons, saloons, and trailer parks across the South, weaving together love, friendship, violence, survival, and revenge

A boy and his father watch a German submarine sink an oil tanker as evil forces in the disguise of federal agents try to ruin their family. A girl is beaten up outside a bar as her university-professor father navigates new love and threats from a group of neo-Nazis. A pair of undercover union organizers are hired to break colts for a Hollywood actor, whose “Western hero” façade hides darkness. An oil rig worker witnesses a horrific attack on a local village while on a job in South America and seeks justice through one final act of bravery.

With his nuanced characters, lyrical prose, and ability to write shocking violence in the most evocative settings, James Lee Burke’s singular skills are on display in this superb anthology. Harbor Lights unfolds in stories that crackle and reverberate as unexpected heroes emerge.

Praise for Harbor Lights:

“Eight stories, four of them new, continue the author’s career-long project of expanding the mystery genre to include bigger crimes like slavery and deeper mysteries like the nature of evil.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Burke proves his versatility as a storyteller in this textured collection . . . Throughout, Burke manages to conjure his characters’ worldview in a few artful brushstrokes . . . These impressive stories establish that Burke doesn’t need a whodunit plot to catch a reader’s attention.”Publishers Weekly

“There are so many joys in this new short-story collection . . . Burke is unmatched as a stylist . . . These stories . . . are as richly detailed and beautifully rendered as Burke’s novels . . . A real treat for fans of the author.”Booklist

“[James Lee Burke’s] finest books are literary masterpieces that explore the more sordid side of American life while shining a light into the darkest recesses of the soul . . . Burke is a master at creating narrative tension; at fraught moments in his stories, the reader feels the charged atmosphere like a coming lightning storm. Above all, Burke excels, as ever, with his rigorous scrutiny of the evil that men do. These are stories of the highest caliber, written with punch.”—Malcolm Forbes, Washington Examiner

“Burke’s eight-piece story collection shines, from the atmosphere found while cherry picking in a northwestern Montana orchard to the smell of summer watermelons in the South . . . These stories, while filled with dark themes, are bright with descriptive natural features, spanning from before the Civil War to more modern times, offering a look into the battlefield history of the South and how it remains alive . . . For Burke’s many fans and those who enjoy Southern tales.”—Library Journal

“The wounds that linger in the men who populate these tales are both physical and psychological, from wars both foreign and domestic. Each narrative brings with it a protagonist weighed down by the burdens of life, death and often survivor’s guilt. Men like James and Aaron Broussard are haunted by the roads they took in life, but still redemption seems possible. Burke’s skill is in eliciting sympathy for his characters as they traverse through their individual trials. Readers will find themselves alongside these people hoping for the best and preparing for the worst . . . Burke’s bibliography (specifically his Dave Robicheaux series) has cemented him as one of the premier mystery writers over the last 30 years, but the selections offered in this book illuminate a writer of even greater scope.”—Bookreporter.com

Praise for Flags on the Bayou:

“The Civil War comes to New Iberia, Louisiana, the capital of Burke’s wondrous fictional empire… [Readers] may well agree that it’s his most probing examination of the enduring legacy of slavery… A grueling, compassionate demonstration that ‘the devil ain’t down in a fiery pit. He’s right here.’”—Kirkus (starred review)

“A stunning work. Man’s addiction to darkness and evil is on horrific display, yet love’s fierce light shines through the poorest of souls. With a belief in God’s grace and redemption, they demand the courage to seek it, against all odds. Often I had to reread a sentence or paragraph, smiling and shaking my head at the power of words assembled that evoke emotional landslides no one creates like James Lee Burke. Get this now. It will take you apart and heal you. Lord, what a magnificent book!”—Nils Lofgren, Member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Member of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse Band

Praise for James Lee Burke:

“James Lee Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir.”—New York Times Book Review

“You can always count on Burke to deliver a white-hot page-turner.”—AARP Magazine

“Burke’s evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder.”Entertainment Weekly

“One of the finest novelists in North America.”—Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

“James Lee Burke is one of a small handful of elite suspense writers whose work transcends the genre, making the leap into capital-L Literature.”—Bookpage