Heart of Joy: Stories by John Repp

 
9781596611115: Heart of Joy: Stories by John Repp
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In this rich, compelling collection of stories, John Repp explores the tensions between belonging and separation, between individuals and their “families”: the communities they are a part of, yet apart from. Repp digs deeply into the intimacy and danger of secrets—-who we tell, who we hide the truth from, and what those decisions reveal about who we are. These are stories firmly located in the American landscape of social class and struggle, stories of people operating on the margins, struggling to get by, struggling to define what “getting by” means. In Heart of Joy, John Repp creates an amazing range of characters, and we care about each and every one of them. We know these people, and through these stories, we know their bruised hearts. —Jim Daniels, Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University, author of Mr. Pleasant (stories, Michigan State University Press)

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From the Inside Flap:

John Repp’s debut collection of short fiction, Heart of Joy, pulls off the monumental task of combining lush, lyrical language with compelling narratives. His stories create magical worlds that feel both believable and fantastical, fragile and tough. From the first page, we are immediately curious about the idiosyncratic characters and their strange circumstances. As each story plays out, we find ourselves considering more universal questions regarding the human condition—whether people create their circumstances or simply respond to the cards they have been dealt. Repp’s years as a successful poet undoubtedly have contributed to his first full-length book of fiction having such an authentic voice that, paradoxically, feels both fresh and seasoned.—Garnett Kilberg-Cohen, Distinguished Artist, Columbia College Chicago, author of Lost Women, Banished Souls (stories, University of Missouri Press)

About the Author:

John Repp lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the visual artist Katherine Knupp, and their son, Dylan. Author of nine collections of poetry and one collection of short-short fiction, Repp is a Resident Artist at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and teaches at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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