GRID VIEW LIST VIEW

Sympathetic People

Both the beauty and frailty of human connections are seen in the thirteen stories collected in Sympathetic People. Here are women and men struggling to find love, meaning, happiness in marriage, adulterous affairs, art, meditation, and even the passage from life to death. Longing generated by loss is everywhere–in the death of a son, the end of a marriage, the slide from hope ignited by Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to hopelessness after President Kennedy’s death.In “Hindsight,” Jessie, a hippie in Lawrence, Kansas, opts for what she assumes is stability in a world of change, only to be brought up short years later when her life veers off its predicted path. “The Secrets of Snakes” reveals the early ruptures in a marriage and a wife’s futile attempts to stop them even as she tries to care for her son’s pet racer. In “The Jewel Box,” a grandmother promises to let her granddaughter know what Heaven is like after she passes and if, in fact, it looks like the Art Deco greenhouse built in St. Louis during the 1904 World’s Fair. And in “Versions,” a newlywed in Plano, Texas, entertains her sometimes angry husband’s first wife and realizes too late what she has given up in choosing him. Read more…

Wagon 537 Christiania

Frivolity, joy and self discovery are the things which, Les Stein, the protagonist of Wagon 537 Christiania, arrives at in his two-year sojourn in the freetown of Christiania. Fleeing from a world of angst and stress, longing for the woman who left him, and frustrated with the stale facets of modern life such as his university studies Stein develops a new understanding of love, independence and self realization. Read more…

Streethearts

John Spector is a seasoned high school teacher with 22 years in the trenches of a ghetto school filled with struggling teenagers, gangs, apathetic students— but also students “who make an indelible impression, kids with souls and hearts as big as the world.” We get the whole spectrum from Spector, a brave and decent soul, a soft touch, too nice, too caring perhaps. Herriges spent many years as a high school teacher. He brings substance and legitimacy to Streethearts. The authenticity of his narrative comes across in every line of every page, many of them packed with witty and sparkling dialogue, at times genuinely humorous, occasionally grim or even horrific, but always candid, always down-to-earth, always reliable. Read more…

The Law of Falling Bodies

Fifteen-year-old Virgil Foggy is trying to survive on a failing dairy farm in Minnesota. Virgil’s mother is pregnant-an unwelcome addition to the family. Virgil’s older brother joins the army and goes to war, but warfare is also close to home, much of it between Virgil and his stepfather. The Law of Falling Bodies is a novel about the schizophrenic, ubiquitous, and cyclical nature of all wars within and between men, women, and nations. Read more…

Minnesota Memoirs

Mesmerizing: In 17 riveting stories set in the author’s native Minnesota, Duff Brenna’s edgy tales journey from the mid-19th century to our current 21st century. While capturing the history centered in and around the cities of Medicine Lake, Golden Valley, Anoka, Minneapolis and Mankato, Minnesota Memoirs unfurl a series of unique narratives revealing a transfiguring perception of what it means to be alive in a world that never explains its quiet indifference to all things human. Called “a spectacular talent at crafting complex, believable characters” (Wall Street Journal), “a honed intelligence, unfaltering, unflinching, piercing” (New York Times) and “a master at capturing the helplessness of humans … with tough written all over them” (Los Angeles Times), Brenna’s insights into human nature show us who we are as a species and what we are capable of—our capacities for love and hate, intense desire, sanity, insanity, magnanimity, generosity of spirit and, above all, compassion. Read more…

Shadows and Ghosts

Ida Mae Glick, a critically acclaimed filmmaker, has lived and taught in the small town of Willow Bend, New York for five years without drawing attention to her troubled past. But when she suffers a near fatal heart attack, the result of trying to live on the same meager rations as a group of homeless people she is filming, she winds up in intensive care under the scrutiny of a neurotic psychiatrist who believes she’s unstable. To make matters worse, her mother’s ghost has appeared at her bedside with old gripes, and her angry, estranged identical twin, Lisa, is heading toward town intent on having her committed. Ida Mae is desperate to escape with her freedom intact, but knows she’ll have to get past her psychiatrist first. The only question is, can she? Shadows and Ghosts is Ida Mae’s tale of artistic passion, fierce sibling rivalry, failed love affairs, substance abuse, and the magical redemptive power of cinema. Read more…

The Bay of Marseilles and Other Stories

These stories, Greg Herriges says, were born of individual, fleeting glimpses and memories, seemingly unbound by any linear reason. But once they were arranged in this collection, the recurring themes were evident—of desire and loss, of the intense isolation each of us necessarily endures and struggles with, as well as the redemptive—if sometimes elusive—power of love. Some of the stories are new, appearing here for the first time in print; others were published before on either side of the Atlantic. All of them evidence the expansive range of Herriges’s imaginative vision, the distinctive richness of his voice, informed by the conjoined power of his musical and literary talents and experience. Greg Herriges’s stories will make you remember the breaking and the mending of your heart. Read more…

The Memoir of Jake Weedsong

Jake and Estuko Weedsong live a bucolic life on their vineyard in rural Oregon. Having been forced out of academia, Jake spends his days working on a memoir, much of it comprised of his years living and teaching in Japan where he married Etsuko some twenty years earlier, married her three times on the same day, in fact. Read more…

The Tiger’s Eye: New & Selected Stories

The stories in this book have been selected from the six previous collections of short fiction, as well as from recent work, Gladys Swan has published in that genre over the past four decades. Although she also has published novels, poetry, and essays, she finds that she cannot do without the short story-“it is such a beautiful form. I love the challenges it presents in dealing with characters and situations that light upon the cusp of the moment and which must be handled with an eye to economy and unity of effect. Read more…

George W. Bush Buys Coke in Mid-Eternity

Liam Mac Sheóinín’s George W. Bush Buys Coke in Mid-Eternity, a Menippean satire, relocates James Joyce’s Dublin to the New Jersey shore with the same spirit of inventive wordplay. Frank McCourt called an excerpt “a language mad romp with many, many laughs along the way. Read more…