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Apparition and Late Fictions: A Novella and Storiesby Thomas Lynch
Synopses & Reviews
A Methodist minister gone astray, a grieving trout bum gone fishing with his father's remains, an artist overwhelmed by incarnate beauty — these are just a few of the iconic yet utterly unique characters in Thomas Lynch's spirited collection.
Set in Michigan's north woods, in Ohio's interior, on islands, in casinos, and in distant cities, these stories are linked by the gone and not forgotten: former spouses, dead parents, and missing children. In pursuit of love and its redemptions, these are pilgrims haunted by memory, dogged by desire, made radiant by romance and its denouements.
With the elegant prose of Frederick Busch and the Irish sensibility of William Trevor, Lynch masterfully creates a world where mirage and apparition are commonplace, where people searching for connection and old comforts find them both near at hand and oddly out of reach.
"Death haunts this underwhelming collection from essayist, poet (and undertaker) Lynch (The Undertaking). In 'Catch and Release,' the shortest and best story, a fishing guide disposes of his father's ashes in an unusual way. 'Bloodsport' is an undertaker's grim reflection on his peripheral involvement in the life of a murder victim. 'Hunter's Moon' is a decent character sketch about a widowed former casket salesman, but as a story, it's too inward-looking and inert. 'Matine de Septembre' presents a portrait of professor Aisling Black that strands her in a lugubrious female version of Death in Venice set in a Michigan resort. 'Apparition,' the centerpiece novella, is the story of Adrian Littlefield, a minister who becomes a bestselling self-help author after his wife leaves him. It's told mostly as flashbacks during Adrian's contemporary visit to the location of his ex-wife's first infidelity. Unfortunately, drawing this slight story out dilutes its promise. Overall, Lynch seems at a loss for what to do with his fictional creations; haunted as they are by deaths and burdensome back stories, his character's present lives feel contrived." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“With Apparition and Late Fictions Lynch has added another chapter to one of the most memorable records in American letters.” The New York Times Book Review
"Funeral director turned writer Lynch brings a soft-spoken humanity to bear on aspects of life as well as death in his debut fiction collection.... Compassion, mourning, joy and wit all play roles in this tender, insightful hefting of mortality's mysteries." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"There is wisdom, courage, and great depth of feeling here. The pieces in this powerful, meditative collection are all beautifully drawn; the title story is a masterpiece." Library Journal
These stories are linked by the gone and not forgotten: former spouses, dead parents, missing children. Lynch creates a world in which people searching for connection and old comforts find them both near at hand and oddly out of reach.
Starred Review. Funeral director turned writer Lynch brings a soft-spoken humanity to bear on aspects of life as well as death in his debut fiction collection…. Compassion, mourning, joy and wit all play roles in this tender, insightful hefting of mortality’s mysteries.There is wisdom, courage, and great depth of feeling here. The pieces in this powerful, meditative collection are all beautifully drawn; the title story is a masterpiece.With Apparition and Late FictionsLynch has added another chapter to one of the most memorable records in American letters.
Heart-rending stories of life and death: a debut fiction collection by the award-winning author of The Undertaking.
About the Author
Thomas Lynch's stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Granta, The Atlantic, Harper's, and elsewhere. The Undertaking was a finalist for the National Book Award; he is also the author of Still Life in Milford, Booking Passage, and Apparition and Late Fictions. Lynch lives in Milford, Michigan, and West Clare, Ireland.
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