By Brock Clarke
The tales during this assortment occupy an international immediately as known 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 appropriate Southern urban as a part of his try and win again his estranged spouse. the fictitious territory of sporting the Torch, is briefly, Brock Clarke’s, one during which the surreal and the hilarious percentage an area with the painfully actual and the sweetly ironic. the following readers will come upon characters dislocated by way of paintings and love, by means of large losses and life’s small dramas, women and men who've migrated South looking for redemption—or not less than within the desire of leaving the worst behind. In those stories approximately what humans attempt to go away and locate they can’t, in regards to the lies we inform the folk we like 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 reticence, the tune in their language, and the haunting human longing that coexists with the irony and the humor,” as Lee Martin feedback, those extraordinary tales hold ahead a practice achieving from Flannery O’Connor to John Cheever and Donald Barthelme—and arrive at a brilliance all their very own. (27000410)
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Extra info for Carrying the Torch: Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
These were not men to sit idly for too long, and one day, soon after their wives opened the restaurant, the husbands came to me with a proposal. They reasoned that if their wives were there to make the old literary society ladies feel comfortable, then it was only fair that the husbands be allowed to make the old literary society ladies feel uncomfortable. ’’ I asked. ’’ ‘‘Paper bags,’’ I repeated, thinking about it, letting the idea soak in. ’’ I asked, because I’m not afraid of a little innovation now and then, and because these men were very good at setting the scene.
And then there was Lily. She watched me; I knew this. I had done a horrible thing. I deserved to be watched. She watched me while I was doing dishes or playing catch with Peter or teaching Eric to tie his shoes; she watched me talk on the phone, after hours, to pan40 The Reason Was Us icked parents of a prospective student about how much financial aid their child was or was not eligible for. Maybe Lily was looking for the me she once loved to banish the me she didn’t; or maybe she was waiting for the me that had hurt her so to rear up again, so she could see that lousy me once and for all, commit me to memory, then leave me behind.
It hurts,’’ he said. ‘‘Oh, it still fucking hurts,’’ and then he turned around and walked out the door, closing it behind him. For the most part I avoided Martin over the next week. This wasn’t di≈cult. He went to work, and I went to work, and besides this was around the time when a university’s first choices for next year’s freshman class repel the university’s advances, and so I was busy calling the waitlisted and telling them that they weren’t losers, not at all, and that the Clemson University family loved them very, very much.