Keepsakes & Other Stories

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9781890434175: Keepsakes & Other Stories

Once Upon A Time, before Atheneum in New York took a chance on an unknown author and published Staggerford (1977), Jon Hassler wrote a number of short stories that introduce many of the characters in his later novels. Only a handful of these stories had appeared in print (mostly in small literary magazines) until we published our best-selling Keepsakes and Other Stories.

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From the Back Cover:

THIS FIRST COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES by Jon Hassler deserves royal fanfare! All of these stories are set in the Midwest. Most are rooted in Jon's own experiences when he was growing up in Plainview, Minnesota, and later as a high school English teacher in various Minnesota high schools and colleges. "I started to write boyhood memories at random", Jon told us, "and some of them proved pretty provocative so I developed them into stories". You'll be glad that he did!

From Publishers Weekly:

These seven gentle tales set in Minnesota and North Dakota and all written during the 1970s treat fans of novelist Hassler (A Green Journey; Jemmy) to the earliest fruits of his talent. Some are folksy portraits of small-town characters, while others are drier and more plot driven. Both the title story and "Resident Priest" feature crusty, 74-year-old Father Fogarty, a pastor who's leaving his parish after 23 years. In "Chief Larson," a seven-year-old Indian boy, known (rather improbably) only as "chief" on the reservation, rebels in a small but telling way against his white adoptive family. "Good News in Culver Bend" tracks two city reporters who travel to a small town and discover "the heart of Christmas." "Chase" and "Christopher, Moony, and the Birds" show how frustrated residents of small towns seek solace. The former, so brief it's nearly a prose poem, hints at Hassler's own adolescent discovery of his talent for fiction; the latter follows a lonely 50-year-old college professor as he goes on a consolatory walk with a student's awkward wife and child, watching "birds on family outings, hopping and halting on the grass." The cleverest story, "Yesterday's Garbage," follows a "garbologist" who finds the truth about a murder in a trash bin, and is then led to commit one himself. The publisher plans to issue Hassler's later short fiction in three more volumes, starting in the year 2000. (Sept.)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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