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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »
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    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Piano Tuner

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The Piano Tuner, Peter Meinke writes of the foreignness that awaits us when we go abroad and when we answer our own front door to admit a stranger, that confronts us in unfamiliar cities and villages and in the equally disquieting surroundings of our memories and regrets.

Often in these stories, what seems a safe, comfortable environment turns suddenly threatening. In the title story, a writer's quiet existence amid his antiques and books is dismantled, piece by piece, by a demonic, beer-bellied piano tuner. In "The Ponoes," a man recalls how, as a young boy living in Brooklyn during World War II, he became a collaborationist in the brutal pranks of two Irish bullies. In "The Twisted River," the sedate collegiality of a Polish university is disrupted when an American on a Fulbright grant attempts to blackmail two faculty members. And in "The Bracelet," a young anthropology student doing field work in Africa finds herself drawn further and further into the role of a priestess of Oshun, into a life dictated by the configuration of cowry shells cast upon the floor.

Meinke writes of a world where our control over our lives seldom exists across a border, and often extends no further than our fingertips. Attempts to bridge two cultures, two lives are sometimes successful, as when an actor finds love in the arms of a tough-talking barmaid, but more usually lead to disillusionment, as when a hard-drinking salesman's career is shattered after he is drunk under the table one night by a Polish engineer, or when an English father struggles to find common ground with his American son. Riveting, almost terrifying, the stories in The Piano Tuner tell of decent men and women caught in events that they could never have predicted, would never have chosen.

About the Author

Peter Meinke has published stories and poems in the Atlantic, Redbook, Yankee, The New Yorker, New Republic, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His stories have twice been included in the O'Henry Award volumes and once in Best American Short Stories. In 1975 he studied in Africa and in 1978-79 he was a Fulbright lecturer in Poland. He is director of the writing workshop at Eckerd College.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780820316451
Author:
Meinke, Peter
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
Publication Date:
19940331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 0.55 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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