Fathers and Sons: An Anthology

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9780871136022: Fathers and Sons: An Anthology

David Seybold, the celebrated author of the anthologies Seasons of the Angler and Boats, once again brings together some of the best writers of our time in this collection of essays, poems, and stories that examine the mysteries of the relationships between fathers and sons.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An anthology of 23 stories, essays, and poems--many original, some previously published--which dramatizes an intergenerational subject that's receiving a great deal of attention because of the so-called men's movement. Here, the father-son problem is approached from a variety of angles. All of the writers are men, and selections range from perennials like Donald Hall to newcomers. Hall is represented by both a poem (``My Son My Executioner'') and an affectionate sketch (``An Arc of Generations'') about a loving father and baseball. Most of these pieces, in fact, veer toward celebration and nostalgic elegy rather than bitterness or anger. Joseph McElroy's story, ``Night Soul,'' is, predictably, postmodernist--a Proustian evocation as a father stands besides his son's crib, bonding with his son. Dan Gerber's ``Last Words'' is a deathbed scene--again, little recrimination or Eugene O'Neill anguish, only sadness. In ``Notes for a Life Not My Own,'' by Verlyn Klinkenborg, a man imagines the texture of his still-living father's life, just as Wesley McNair's poem ``After My Stepfather's Death'' does the same in verse. The best stories, because they dramatize a more complex world, include Kent Nelson's ``The Middle of Nowhere,'' in which an adolescent son moves into a trailer with his womanizing father and finds himself attracted to his dad's latest live-in lover; William Kittredge's ``Three-Dollar Dogs,'' about a Montana narrator who comes to understand how bittersweet and complicated life can be when he witnesses his grandfather's decline in a home for the aged, even as the old man fabricates tales of derring-do; and Robert Olmstead's ``Into the Cat,'' a backwoods tale set in South Georgia. ``My father taught me the boundaries and burdens...,'' a Rick Bass character says; men would do well, after the literary polemic of Iron John, to turn to this evocative collection. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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