"According to my mother, Billy broke his hand during a cold and violent winter much like this one. She could remember vividly the details of that winter -- how tired she grew of breathing through woolen scarves, of passing birds dead in snow drifts, their mouths leaking slow blood. Trucks skidded off highways and toppled into ditches, where they remained until spring; cars died in garages and resisted jump starts; old people felt the cold move under their clothes and blankets and reach for their hearts."
--From "Winter Country"
This is a collection of individual stories that, when read as a whole, create a singular vision: that of a lonely, stark, even eerie world in which the central characters find themselves, in one way or the other, outsiders. The evocation of this world is partially accomplished with a uniform physical setting -- most of these stories take place in rural Minnesota, a setting portrayed as isolated, lonely, and claustrophobic. But this external world also parallels the internal spirit of the characters. All these stories deal in some way with yearning. The characters desire something that seems out of their reach, ungraspable either because of circumstances, the will of others imposed upon them, or even their own doubts and fears, turned inward against themselves. The characters here are dreamers who struggle anyway, seeking love, freedom, and the dignity in human or spiritual connection that will confirm their place in a world that moves relentlessly forward, indifferent to their longings.
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Robert Schirmer was born in Minnesota. He received a B.A. from Hamline Univrsity, an M.A. from the University of New hampshire, and M.F.A. from the University of Arizona. His tories have appeared in New England Review, Indiana Review, Greensboro Review, and New Letters.
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Book Description NYU Press, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0814779379