All but two of the stories in this, Ernest Finney’s third collection of short fiction, are set in California: in the San Francisco Bay area, the Sierras, the San Joaquin Valley. His diverse characters—a professional wrestler, a bridge prodigy, a wilderness guide, goldseekers, illegal immigrants—are moved by chance events of time and place, finding themselves plunged into precarious situations that demand an immediate choice.
“For thirty years Ernest Finney has been one of the best fiction writers in the country. He has established himself as a master of lowlife, which sooner or later is an essential element in all of these stories. He gets under the skins of people who live on or near the margins of society and reveals the pathos in their lives—more often than not in unexpected ways.”—George Core, editor, Sewanee Review
“As a lover of fiction, I appreciate the sinewy existentialism of these gnomic stories. As an historian of California, I appreciate Ernest Finney as a writer who understands the gritty reality of life on the wild side in the Golden State.”—Kevin Starr, author of Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge
“A fine collection, I'm tempted to say extraordinary, using history, geography, the financial pages, and current events as armatures for plot and character. If you wanted to have a capsule of California in book form, this is it.”—Robley Wilson, author of The World Still Melting
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A native Californian, ERNEST J. FINNEY is the author of two prize-winning story collections, Birds Landing and Flights in the Heavenlies, and four novels: Winterchill, Lady with the Alligator Purse, Words of My Roaring, and California Time. He now lives in Sierra County, where he’s working on a quartet of novels set in Gold Rush California.
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