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Independent Press Award 

2024 winner

Tranquility Bight

Bahr Burr

A thought experiment in novella form, Tranquility Bight poses a simple question: What would it take for a good person to commit an unforgivable act of evil? For a model community of upstanding citizens, the answer is shocking in its brutal mundanity.

Follow one resident as he navigates a series of events likely to alter both his attitude toward others and his understanding of his own human nature. Will reason triumph, or is a deliberate act of irrational self-sabotage the only means of maintaining his human agency?

In this thought-provoking work, Bahr Burr explores existentialist themes addressing one man’s seemingly irrational choice to deliberately pursue a course of action contrary to his own best interests. Is man merely a piano key played by powers beyond his control? If so, how should he respond? Is he still responsible for his own actions?

While allowing readers to draw their own conclusions, Burr crafts a narrative designed to force contemplation of one’s own moral agency and the tragically simple means by which evil can take control.

Does reason account for all human actions? Can man’s behavior be predicted according to his own best interests?

One thing is certain: If man is a piano key, the note he strikes is sometimes out of tune.

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Tranquility Bight
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