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All My Relations: Stories

Christopher McIlroy

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ISBN 10: 0820333093 / ISBN 13: 9780820333090
Published by University of Georgia Press, 2008
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: All My Relations: Stories

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

Set against the stark but seductive landscape of the American Southwest, the stories in All My Relations explore the inner landscape of mind and heart, where charting the simplest course is subject to a complex constellation of relationships. In the title story of the collection, a Pima Indian hires on with a rancher in an attempt to quit drinking and to win back the wife and son who have left him. His efforts to master land and horses and to bake the perfect cake mirror his efforts to subdue his own demons and to embrace a peaceful domesticity.

In "The Big Bang and the Good House", Tony, a former drug dealer, pits his urge toward chaos against the orderly pleasures of marriage, finally yielding to the solidity and spaciousness of domestic love: "I feel myself gathering weight, density. Cautiously, I allow myself to inhabit this Good House, which surprisingly fits like my own body". Julia, the aging protagonist of "Simplifying", risream house with their own hands, and eventually they are forced to leave behind the illusion of safety and permanence: "Once the three had imagined themselves as a house on a hill, dug into stone with the tenacity of a lion. Now they sat tensely in canvas-backed chairs stretched like slingshots. They talked cautiously, with encouragement, hoping for the return of pleasure".

Embodying the transience and openness of the New West, the characters in All My Relations reinvent themselves, even as they struggle with the age-old, perilous necessity of loving.

About the Author:

Christopher McIlroy has taught creative writing at the University of Arizona and Warren Wilson College. A cofounder of the nonprofit corporation ArtsReach, which conducts fiction and poetry workshops in Native American communities, he is also a consultant to the Indian Education Unit of the Arizona Department of Education. His stories have appeared in "Missouri Review," "Fiction," "Story Quarterly," "Puerto del Sol," "TriQuarterly, Magazine," and "Sonora Review," among others.

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