In this collection of fourteen new and previously published essays and stories, John E. Keats engages the tragedy of transience and instability. Personal narratives explore unreliable memories of his father, the tenuous appeal of conventional beauty for wary loners, and the ravaging effects of long, civilized lives on the beloved. Fictions continue those investigations while they mourn suicidal mothers, pity an eerie ballerina, study old men swinging heavy tools, and track war veterans burdened by confusing notions of duty. Children are everywhere, and some are armed. They are threatened by animals, insects, and dreams. But they all confront adults with a riotous power that the mature, without the aid of deep feeling or humane art, might not remember losing. By alternating between personal narratives and fictional tales, Keats embraces the blurred boundaries between what's remembered and what's invented. Obsessions are attacked and explored from multiple angles. Echoes and memories create and splinter characters. Unity feels like a promise made by a liar, but the promise seems like a beautiful kindness.
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John E. Keats lives in Massachusetts. He has a B.A. in English from Salem State University and a M.A. in English from Boston College. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in UNDER THE SUN, RIVER TEETH, RELIEF, ROUX, and a Heinemann anthology, AM I TEACHING YET? His website is: JohnEKeats1967.com.
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