John Blair American Standard

ISBN 13: 9780822941927

American Standard

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9780822941927: American Standard
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Winner of the 2002 Drue Heniz Literature Prize, this collection contains short stories set mostly in central Florida, populated by people living lives of disquieting longing and stubborn isolation.

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From the Inside Flap:

Winner of the 2002 Drue Heinz Literature Prize

Selected by Elizabeth Hardwick

It is hard to see what lurks beneath the surface of a muddy river, an alligator-infested lake, or a John Blair short story.

At first glance, the characters in American Standard may seem as familiar and uncomplicated as old drinking buddies or innocuous next-door neighbors. Yet, their dark, dangerous, and disturbing currents run deep.

Julia is a devout, demure, churchgoing, woman but underneath her placidity roils discontent, perhaps even madness. On what would have been an otherwise normal Sunday morning, she wakes up, walks downstairs, and shoots her husband with his own revolver. A middle-aged, unemployed technical writer, Jack owns a home in the suburbs and a mutt named Hoover. Yet he is drowning in suburbia; his wife has been sleeping alone on a futon for the past year, and he risks his life every night during his secret outings.

At the Young Adults Group campout, not-quite-innocent Fisher reels in more than he expects to find, both behind the dark sunglasses of the minister’s wife and in the phosphorescent waters of a ghostly river. Existing on a modest church stipend and his belief in God, Pastor Bob trawls life’s shallows for meaning, salvation, and a modicum of hope as he attempts to save his marriage.

Dave spends his afternoons lugging the belongings of college students in the back of his truck and dozing through episodes of The Young and the Restless. When he meets a distraught coed, he and his small universe are nearly swallowed by a fast-growing sinkhole of circumstance and misfortune. Unemployed, uninterested Billy’s most egregious offense just might be lethargy. He embarks on a tempestuous motorcycle ride that leaves him balancing on a razor’s edge between tragedy and salvation.

Set mostly in central Florida, especially the suburban streets near Orlando, Blair’s interconnected stories capture lives of disquieting longing and stubborn isolation. For them, this is the American standard, as ubiquitous and undistinguished as vitreous china bathroom fixtures.

About the Author:

John Blair was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. A self-proclaimed army brat, he ""grew up everywhere,"" but spent most summers visiting his grandparents in Lake Wales, Florida. A professor of English at Southwest Texas State University, Blair lives in San Marcos with his wife and son.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780822962441: American Standard (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize)

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ISBN 10:  0822962446 ISBN 13:  9780822962441
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002
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Book Description University of Pittsburgh Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. It is difficult to see what lurks beneath the surface of a muddy river, an alligator-infested lake, or a John Blair short story. The deep currents that drive a demure, devout, church-going woman to shoot her husband; the ripple effect of a midnight rendezvous at church youth camp that goes slightly - then horribly - askew; the sinkholes that can swallow Porsche dealerships - or marriages; what is dredged up in American Standard cannot easily be forgotten. Set mostly in central Florida, Blair's stories are filled with people living lives of disquieting longing and stubborn isolation. For them, this is the American standard, as ubiquitous and undistinguished as vitreous china bathroom fixtures. Seller Inventory # AAN9780822941927

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Book Description University of Pittsburgh Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is difficult to see what lurks beneath the surface of a muddy river, an alligator-infested lake, or a John Blair short story. The deep currents that drive a demure, devout, church-going woman to shoot her husband; the ripple effect of a midnight rendezvous at church youth camp that goes slightly - then horribly - askew; the sinkholes that can swallow Porsche dealerships - or marriages; what is dredged up in American Standard cannot easily be forgotten. Set mostly in central Florida, Blair s stories are filled with people living lives of disquieting longing and stubborn isolation. For them, this is the American standard, as ubiquitous and undistinguished as vitreous china bathroom fixtures. Seller Inventory # AAN9780822941927

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