I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These is a collection of 57 short pieces that range in length from a paragraph to 10 pages. Its characters, voices, and surreal scenarios are unified in a playful vision of the world that is equal parts memory, metaphor, cartoon, tragedy, love story, and song. Speed and brevity are part of the collection’s design. I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These is quick, colloquial, and comic, yet always challenging and highly reflective. It offers readers–at a glance–a journey into a world that is poetic and narrative, fantastic and familiar, accessible and adventurous.



“With gorgeous and distinct sentences, Tognazzini gives us little clips os life—whimsical, painful, brief, deep; there are real gems in here—phrases and moments I read and reread—profundities in delicate packages. A true treat of a book.” —Aimee Bender

“The short shorts’ lineage may be continental, but Anthony Tognazzini in his debut collection writes in pure American—laconic in tone, yet fast-paced, quick-witted, street-smart, and not, thankfully, above, when the occasion occasionally presents itself—and Tognazzini makes sure that it does—smart-assed.” —Stuart Dybek

“Reading Anthony Tognazzini is like having a surprise party thrown in your honor on every page. I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These turns cartwheels, plants daises, and sings love songs in honor of all that is strange, sad, serious, and sublime about being alive.” —Myla Goldberg

“There’s a mounting sense of desperation at the heart of many of the stories in I Carry a Hammer for Occasions Such As These Anthony’s vivid imagery and twists of language and meaning reflect the fracturing of personalities; the breaks in communication between neighbors, lovers, family members. His well-honed sense of the absurd serves both to heighten the emotional blows when they come, and also to highlight the preposterous and ridiculous moments that life constantly presents us. The stories, written with the economy and force of poetry, are both dream-state and hard-reality, and much of the joy in reading them is the constant subtle shifting between one and the other. But no matter how unusual the image–and I prefer the term original—Anthony always keeps us in the physical realm, rooted in sensation.” —Glenn Raucher, YMCA Reading Series 

“Tognazzini deconstructs universal moments with language, revealing underlying beauty and bliss.”—BOMB Magazine

“The underlying pull toward naked truth makes these unforgettable stories rise to the top of a very crowded field.” —Bloomsbury Review

“These are stories with one foot in the mundane everyday world and the other in the fantastic and grotesque—with objects and characters swooping unexpectedly between like hats through the morning air.” —Indiana Review


Publisher: BOA
Online Bookstore: Amazon
Online Bookstore: Barnes & Noble
Local Independent Bookstore Search: Indiebound
Distributor: Consortium