By Brock Clarke
The tales during this assortment occupy an international without delay as common as a suburban yard or a southern college’s hallowed soccer box and as unusual as a guy who buys Savannah, Georgia, and attempts to show it into the ideal Southern urban as a part of his try to win again his estranged spouse. the fictitious territory of sporting the Torch, is briefly, Brock Clarke’s, one within which the surreal and the hilarious percentage an area with the painfully genuine and the sweetly ironic. the following readers will stumble upon characters dislocated via paintings and love, by means of large losses and life’s small dramas, women and men who've migrated South looking for redemption—or no less than within the wish of leaving the worst behind. In those stories approximately what humans try and depart and locate they can’t, concerning the lies we inform the folk we adore and the myths we create to make lifestyles livable, Marly Swick cites an “exceptional originality” in addition to an “amazing emotional resonance, a haunting quality.” “Notable for his or her stability of sentiment and discretion, the song in their language, and the haunting human longing that coexists with the irony and the humor,” as Lee Martin comments, those striking tales hold ahead a convention attaining from Flannery O’Connor to John Cheever and Donald Barthelme—and arrive at a brilliance all their very own. (27000410)
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Additional info for Carrying the Torch: Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
It was true, for instance, that Martin looked nice enough: his face was red and hale; his hair was black and short on the top, distinguished and flecked gray on 35 the sides; his clothes—pleated khaki shorts, green and red polo shirt, slightly broken-in running shoes—were properly understated in middle America; he had a gut, but it did not hang like a sack over his belt, nor did he seem inclined to rub it; he talked with the movers as they hauled his furniture into the house, but he didn’t seem to order them around or get under their feet or on their nerves.
Other than the movers Martin was by himself, but I noticed the movers carting in a crib and a child’s bed, and this made me happy, because as mentioned we had two kids and naturally hoped their new neighbor would have children, too. All of this caused me to regard Martin with some goodwill and high hope. On the other hand, it was also true that the moving truck was not part of a fleet from some well-known national company, and was not really a truck, either, more of a dirty white, elongated van.
42 The Reason Was Us Martin didn’t do any of this. He didn’t drink more than one commemorative plastic battle of Gettysburg tumbler of Kentucky Gentleman bourbon and laughed politely when people joked about Johnny Reb this and minié ball that, and was perfectly agreeable to his hosts—he didn’t make any drunk driving jokes, for instance, which was good because Bill had once gotten tanked and plowed into the side of a school bus back in Cherry Hill, and a couple of the kids were in icu for weeks because of it and he’d lost most of his family’s deodorant soap fortune in the lawsuits that followed.