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"Insightful and bittersweet, Outer Sunset is — without qualification — a terrific novel."   San Francisco Chronicle



Outer Sunset

(University of Iowa Press,

May 15, 2023

ISBN-13 : ‎ 978-1609388836)


The Man Who Owns Little

(Kindle Single)



"Insightful and bittersweet, “Outer Sunset” is — without qualification — a terrific novel."

 — Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicle



"It is rare for a novel to probe the psyches of its characters as deeply as Mark Ernest Pothier does in Outer Sunset. Many writers don't even suspect such depths exist. They do, though, and here's the proof."

Richard Russo, author, Empire Falls and Straight Man


"Outer Sunset traces one solitary man’s late reawakening and rediscovery of what was and still is best in his life. Mark Ernest Pothier’s debut is a wise and gentle meditation on last chances and the power of hope.”

—Stewart O’Nan, author, Emily, Alone and Ocean State

Beautiful and touching, Outer Sunset tells a stirring father-daughter tale about facing impending loss with faith, hope, forgiveness, and healing.”

Foreword, starred review

"The father and daughter at the heart of this beautiful novel entirely captured mine. Mark Ernest Pothier has written an affecting story, both serious and funny, about a self-sufficient middle-aged man who finds himself suddenly confronted with the messy work of love and forgiveness in the face of looming mortality. I read it with a sense of quiet urgency and finished it with great satisfaction.”

—Julia Glass, author, Three Junes and Vigil Harbor

“[A]n original, compelling, memorable read by... an exceptionally gifted novelist with a genuine flair for the kind of narrative driven storytelling and impressively crafted characters that keeps his readers raptly engaged and fully involved.”

Midwest Book Review


"Outer Sunset is elegant but not showy, straightforward but not simple, serious but not humorless. Its subjects—money, disease, divorce, death, belief—are laid out in a pattern as complex as the layers of San Francisco life that every page of this novel reveals. The characters are complex too, rich and full of mystery and revelations and surprises. This is a deeply pleasurable and satisfying read.”

—Valerie Sayers, author, The Age of Infidelity and Other Stories


News and Reviews

May 18, 2023—Watch the recorded launch of “Outer Sunset” at Green Apple Books, "in conversation" with Rebecca Handler ("Edie Richter Is Not Alone"), on YouTube.

May 8, 2023—“Outer Sunset” is ...a wise, elegantly written book about a transformational moment for a family and their city.—SF Chronicle Datebook

May 3, 2023—"Despite a full adulthood of changes, I often feel as shaken and off-balance as my 34-year-old wannabe-writer self once did.... It’s exhausting, so close to launch. What to do? To get on the same page, I interviewed him."—LitHub

May 1, 2023—"After receiving tragic news, Jim Finley begins to seize the life he was letting slip away. Pothier’s novel tells the story of this lost dad and explores his relationships—especially with his daughter, his son, his son’s girlfriend, and all that is left of a dead Russian saint—as they play out in a San Francisco yet to be overrun by tech."—Alta Journal Online

May 2023—"Beautiful and touching, Outer Sunset tells a stirring father-daughter tale about facing impending loss with faith, hope, forgiveness, and healing..."—Kristen Rabe, Foreword Indie Reviews

New York, NY—November 30, 2022—Poets & Writers today announced that ten fiction writers have been selected to participate in Get the Word Out, a new publicity incubator for debut authors.  

Mark Ernest Pothier

Mark Ernest Pothier’s debut novel, Outer Sunset, was published by University of Iowa Press in May 2023. His stories have won a Chicago Tribune/Nelson Algren Award and been long-listed for the Pirates Alley/Faulkner – William Wisdom prize. He earned an MFA from SF State, a BA from St. John’s College in Annapolis, and has lived with his wife and kids in San Francisco since 1987.

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For any media inquiries, please contact agent: Farley Chase

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