Boswell, Robert

ISBN 10: 0679430636 / ISBN 13: 9780679430636
Published by New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. dj, 1994
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Collection of short stories. SIGNED on the title page. 190 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 41339

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Bibliographic Details

Title: LIVING TO BE 100.

Publisher: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. dj

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Robert Boswell, author of the highly acclaimed Mystery Ride and Crooked Hearts, has written a stunning new collection of short stories. In them, he brings us into the familiar territory of family relationships and brilliantly describes the strain, the humor, the confusion, and the kaleidoscope of feelings these bonds evoke. But he also introduces us to new terrain as he places us in worlds so heightened by emotion that, at times, the commonplace turns eerie and the odd becomes downright scary.
In "Rain," Karen and Orla are paired off in a search party formed to find a lost boy during a storm. Although the boy is located, the two women discover during their search that parts of themselves, over the years, have gone missing. In "Glissando," a father and son drift through life, jobs, schools, towns, and women trying to both find and escape their past. An alcoholic husband, in "The Good Man," resolves to stop drinking after he finds a note tacked to the door from his wife that says "Good-bye, you shit." In order to get his family back, he suffers through maggot-filled hallucinations and vomit-covered nights at the rehabilitation center, but the worst of not drinking has yet to come. Alvin and Rita Bishop lose their infant girl to crib death in "The Earth's Crown"; Rita goes mad with grief and Alvin has an affair with a pregnant woman. "The Products of Love" tells of Paula and Eugene's mysterious marriage. And in "Living to Be a Hundred," three men on a construction crew hammer out their lives and loves - literally.
Soul-piercing and freshly funny, these stories are at once strikingly contemporary and timeless in their power to move us.

From Kirkus Reviews:

From the author of Mystery Ride, a collection of short stories that too often read like a few good characters in search of a major insight. All have previously been published in venues such as the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories 1989, and Ploughshares. An accomplished creator of vivid characters thoroughly and lovingly realized, Boswell is less original when it comes to creating defining moments for them. In the first story, ``Rain,'' which previously appeared in the New Yorker, a young woman joins a search party for a young boy lost in the nearby woods, and, long after the boy is found, finds herself questioning her marriage, her attraction to her co-searcher Orla (a divorced neighbor) and her longing to return to the forest. Only a re-enactment of the search with Orla gives her the less than earth-shattering epiphany she has been searching for. In ``The Good Man,'' the second New Yorker story and one of the best in the book, the match between character and situation is more subtly nuanced as a recovering alcoholic moves with his wife and family to Arizona, where his wife ``misses trees, grass, rain, snow but mostly trees,'' and sometimes even the way her husband used to be when he drank. Other notable stories are ``Grief,'' in which parents struggle to accept the death of a daughter in an accident that her boyfriend, the driver of the car, survives, and after which he goes on to court and marry their remaining daughter; ``Living to be a Hundred,'' which limns the sexual and class tensions of three former college students working in a small desert town; and ``Imagining Spaniards,'' in which a high school teacher is suddenly aware of ``the presence of death...death was not a metaphor. Its coarse tongue chafed his skin.'' The least distinguished tale is ``Brilliant Mistake,'' a sexual awakening story that tries to be different but isn't. Beautifully wrought prose that tries too hard for the bells- and-whistles moment when a quieter, more subtle resolution would better serve. But a writer to watch. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Store Description - the name used by Volk and Iiams, Booksellers- specializes in first editions of twentieth century literature, with an emphasis on women authors, African American, Native American and Latin American authors - plus mystery & detective fiction, science fiction & fantasy, poetry and children's & illustrated books. We try to offer many uncommon books, and have a large selection of first books, and books by authors who are less frequently collected. Of the approximately 50,000 volumes in stock, the majority are hardcover first editions, although we also stock vintage science fiction paperbacks as well as sf digests and pulps. We also have a large selection of books signed by the author and uncorrected proof copies. Less than 50% of our stock is catalogued, so please inquire if you are searching for specific titles. Selling books by mail order and on the internet since 1993. We have a large booth dedicated to books (called Books Upstairs) at the Antiques Upstairs Mall, 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA. (open every day from 10-5) The emphasis there is on Western Americana, children¿s books and inexpensive reading copies. In 1998 we relocated our main business from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills of Amador County, about 35 miles east of downtown Sacramento and between Ione & Sutter Creek. There, on 10 acres of rolling oak-covered hills, we built a ¿bookhouse¿ for our books. When we are there, we welcome visitors by appointment (call 209-274-6960 or, in the US only, toll free at 1-877-bookfev or contact us by email Our web page is Traditional bookseller grading used - fine is our highest grade (an "A"), very good is above average (a "B), good is average (a "C"). All significant flaws are described; dust jackets are protected by archival covers, and books are packed carefully for shipping. We welcome questions by email or phone.

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