Wanting Only to Be Heard (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction)

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9780870239793: Wanting Only to Be Heard (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction)
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The stories in this memorable collection explore the rigors of life in northern Michigan, a harsh terrain where winters linger, marriages often fail, and the emotional climate can be as severe as the physical one. Jack Driscoll writes about ordinary working-class people struggling to get along as best they can. With remarkable control, he portrays the uncertainty and impulsiveness of boys on the edge of manhood, the loneliness of women cut off from their families, and the ambivalence and anger of men who have come to see that love is neither simple nor secure. In the title story, three boys in the dead of winter test their theory that it should be possible to swim underwater from one ice-fishing hole to the next. In "Pig and Lobsters" a son watches his father plan a fancy dinner for a date who never arrives, the father's anticipation turning to rage as the evening unfolds. "August Sales" tells the story of a census worker with a chronic sleepwalking disorder who is haunted by his wife's decision to leave him. The protagonist of "Devotion," a woman recovering from dental surgery, finds herself holding a gun on a young intruder who has broken into her house. In each story, Driscoll masterfully conveys the fragility of human contact and the complex topography of the heart.

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About the Author:

Winner of the PEN/Nelson Algren Fiction Award, Jack Driscoll is Writer-in-Residence at the Interlochen Arts Academy. His latest book is a collection of poetry entitled Building the Cold from Memory.

Review:

"An impressive, gritty northern Michigan version of André Dubus."―Kirkus Reviews

"The stories provide a privileged glimpse into the male heart confronted with loss. These are men grappling with a world whose cruelties have cornered them. And ultimately Jack Driscoll's poetic language gives them a stature that makes their struggle meaningful, tragic, and universal."―New York Times Book Review

"Driscoll's stories are elegant, chilly, and understated. His people, of course, want more than to be heard; they want to be with someone, they want their lives to mean something, they want to be warm."―(London) Times Literary Supplement

"I once believed, with good reason, that after reading Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, I'd never again read anything so poignant and moving about the hard lives of hard men, or anything that equaled its quiet power, its clear, classic, soft-spoken prose, as bracing as spring water. But now I've read Wanting Only to Be Heard, and now I think differently. I read Jack Driscoll saying to myself, Yes! that's how it's done, that's how you tell a story, that's how you do it so we'll never forget these people and their voices and this place."―Bob Shacochis

"Driscoll's frozen northern landscape is at once chilling and intoxicating, at once frighteningly sterile and alarmingly seductive. His characters are brave and honest and heartbreakingly bent on survival against all physical and emotional odds. This book is an act of courage and generosity from a wildly talented man."―Pam Houston

"The Roman poet Horace once wrote, 'The art is to hide the art,' and Driscoll seamlessly manages to take the reader within his tales so that we are part of peoples' lives and not just fictional characters' actions."―Shenandoah

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9780870238086: Wanting Only to Be Heard (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction)

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ISBN 10:  0870238086 ISBN 13:  9780870238086
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992
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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The stories in this memorable collection explore the rigors of life in northern Michigan, a harsh terrain where winters linger, marriages often fail, and the emotional climate can be as severe as the physical one. Jack Driscoll writes about ordinary working-class people struggling to get along as best they can. With remarkable control, he portrays the uncertainty and impulsiveness of boys on the edge of manhood, the loneliness of women cut off from their families, and the ambivalence and anger of men who have come to see that love is neither simple nor secure. In the title story, three boys in the dead of winter test their theory that it should be possible to swim underwater from one ice-fishing hole to the next. In Pig and Lobsters a son watches his father plan a fancy dinner for a date who never arrives, the father s anticipation turning to rage as the evening unfolds. August Sales tells the story of a census worker with a chronic sleepwalking disorder who is haunted by his wife s decision to leave him. The protagonist of Devotion, a woman recovering from dental surgery, finds herself holding a gun on a young intruder who has broken into her house. In each story, Driscoll masterfully conveys the fragility of human contact and the complex topography of the heart. Seller Inventory # BTE9780870239793

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