John Logan: The Collected Fiction (American Poets Continuum)

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"Always enjoyable for the essential frission of recognition they provide, these stories...call us to witness the subtle nuances of our own experiences."--Publishers Weekly

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These 18 stories (five of which are appearing for the first time) represent the late poet's narrative oeuvre. Most are impressionistic accounts of such diverse events as the panicky imaginings of a sleep-deprived security guard, students' wild celebrations on V-J Day, a young man's awkward trip to a strip show and an evening spent with a pompous academic bore. Particularly memorable are ``The Success,'' an acute evocation of a psychotherapy session, and ``The Last Class,'' which explores the tenuous links between an egotistic college instructor and a sensitive, beautiful poetry student. The longer, autobiographical story ``The House that Jack Built,'' (which is also presented in an initial, abbreviated version) blurs the boundaries between poetry and prose. Describing fireworks at a childhood Fourth of July celebration, Logan ( The Collected Poems ) writes: ``They were like the shivering tails of pheasants caught in the lights of the car at night. Or the goldenrod and grape-colored wild orchid by the road, with no dust, in a ditch of sky.'' Always enjoyable for the essential frisson of recognition they provide, these stories at their best call us to witness the subtle nuances of our own experiences.

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