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The Way People Run

Christopher Tilghman

46 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786221704 / ISBN 13: 9780786221707
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

FSG, 1999. First ed. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. New in dj. A perfect unread copy. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 4066

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Way People Run

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: F....

About this title


In The Way People Run, one of America's finest writers, the author of Mason's Retreat ("magnificent"--Publishers Weekly) and In a Father's Place ("radiant"--The New York Times), gives us a new collection of stunning short stories, brilliant fiction about the deep emotional connections, and disconnections, between people and within people's inner lives. Against the backdrop of vivid settings, especially the Chesapeake Bay region and the American West, Tilghman writes with passion, generosity, and grace about the ways people con-front themselves and the lives they've created. In The Way People Run, chosen by Robert Stone for the 1992 Best American Short Stories volume, a man goes west to find a new job and, out of the framework of the familiar, loses his hold on his family and his old life. In Something Important, Peter Ramsey undertakes a reunion with his long-lost brother, and discovers that his wife is in love with someone else. In Things Left Undone, chosen by Tobias Wolff to appear in the 1994 Best American Short Stories, a young couple tries to survive a tragedy. As Andre Dubus said about In a Father's Place, Christopher Tilghman "is a spiritual writer who often looks at things the rest of us cannot see." Life's truths are at the heart of these magnificent stories by a modern American master.

Praise for Mason's Retreat

Magnificent...Tilghman's first novel places him securely in the ranks of our most accomplished writers."                          
--Publishers Weekly

Beautifully written...fully imagined...Few first novels are narrated with the clarity, economy, and masterful assurance Tilghman brings to this re-markably moving and persuasive tale."                    
--Entertainment Weekly

Rich with character and sweet with the scent of a Maryland farm in America's mid-century summer...The moral center of this novel is larger than all its sorrows, which have about them the inevitable arc of a star falling from a darkening sky."
--Gail Caldwell, The Boston Sunday Globe

Praise for In a Father's Place
A collection that signals the appearance of a gifted new writer."
--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

A simple, classic feel, as if written from deep in the American grain...It is a magnificent portrait."
--Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

About Mason's Retreat

Echoes of The Great Gatsby, William Styron's Lie Down in Darkness, O'Neill, and Faulkner...a stunning individual achievement."                                
--Kirkus Reviews

Mason's Retreat is a brilliant book--full of wisdom and insight into the workings of the soul. The language is perfect. Every paragraph holds a treasure. This is one of the most thoroughly satisfying novels you will ever read."    --Kaye Gibbons

Powerful...a work of surpassing thematic seriousness and fictive artistry. In all respects, Mason's Retreat is exemplary."
--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World


Christopher Tilghman is often mentioned in the same breath as John Cheever or William Maxwell--American masters who have mapped the difficult terrain of domestic life. Pretty exalted company, but Tilghman more than holds his own in the novel Mason's Retreat and the short-story collection In a Father's Place. The Way People Run is yet another example of both his skill as a stylist and his insight into the workings of everyday life. In "Something Important" Peter Randall is lured by his older brother Mitch to a family cottage in the Chesapeake country. The two men haven't seen each other in several years and their relationship has never been close. Yet when, in the course of the two days they spend together, Peter discovers that his brother knows something that he doesn't about his own marriage, it is Mitch who offers comfort:

Peter felt that hand and heard these words, and both of them helped. This boat he sat on, it was Mitch's idea of a gift, not coming empty-handed to the hospital room, no need to sit around getting maudlin for Christ's sake. Peter thumped on the desk and looked up at Mitch. "Thanks for this," he said.

"Room for Mistakes" follows Hal from his failing bank job in Boston back to the family ranch in Montana after the death of his mother whom he had loved "as his mother had loved him, from a distance." What starts out as a temporary pilgrimage home soon becomes a tangle of emotions and ghosts as Hal must confront his feelings about the ranch, his long-dead father, and the surprising revelations of his mother's will. Tilghman reveals a complicated subtext of jealousy, love, resentment, and hope through the mix of characters he introduces: Hal and his city-wife, Marcie; his step-father, Roy, who was once his mother's ranch hand; and Shannon, the housekeeper.

Tilghman has a knack for writing articulately about inarticulate people. In every story, actions speak louder than words, and though there's plenty of dialogue, most of Tilghman's meaning can be found in the accretion of telling details and in the behavior of his characters toward each other. These are the best kind of short stories--the ones you can read more than once and still find something new every time. --Alix Wilber

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