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In the Devil's Territory: Storiesby Kyle Minor
Synopses & Reviews
A collection of stories and novellas about the choices we face and where those decisions lead us, including "A Day Meant to Do Less,"a Best American Mystery Stories 2008 selection.
A schoolteacher escapes East Berlin at night, swimming the Spree River three times carrying elderly relatives on her back, so she can make her way to West Palm Beach, Florida, and "ruin the lives of fifth grade boys."A young husband reckons with the likelihood that his wife's troubled pregnancy will end with her death before Christmas. A preacher bathes his ill and elderly mother, not knowing that she has mistaken him for the long-lost cousin she watched murder his brother in her father's tobacco field. In six stories that read like novels in miniature, Kyle Minor plumbs the depths of human mystery, where they meet our kindnesses and our cruelties, our generosities and our pettiness.
"This debut collection focuses on religion and doubt, and showcases the potential and inconsistency of its young writer. 'The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Party,' which opens the collection, is Minor at his best — a powerful story about a man overcome with guilt, worry and resentment as the health of his wife and their unborn child hangs in the balance. It is followed by an unwieldy, 68-page tale of a squeamish minister undressing his senile mother for a bath (which is then followed by a story featuring another minister with many of the same life details). In general, the frequent recurrence of circumstance, setting and, sometimes, character, is more repetitive than progressive. Still, Minor has a knack for capturing melancholy and establishing empathy for his book's many wayward characters, as in 'The Navy Man,' which tells the story of a Christian school principal's frustrated wife as she considers cheating (again) on her husband. Hopefully, the author's talents will be better displayed in his next book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"...Kyle Minor's bold, compassionate stories burn deep into the eternal mysteries and violent truths of the human experience with the force of a welding torch cranked to the max." Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
"In Kyle Minor's dark debut collection of stories, personal secrets always exact a terrible price—sometimes worse than the events that motivated them." Boston Phoenix
Debut collection from highly regarded story and non-fiction author.
About the Author
Kyle Minor's work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, among them Best American Mystery Stories 2008, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Surreal South, and Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006. His work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Kyle received his MFA from Ohio State University and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Toledo.
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